BILL HALFORD (07/31/1968 – 06/22/2017)
So this Pritelivir is some topical ointment it seems …I would assume combining Theravax and Pritelivir may be a decent inhibitor then!
To be honest, I think I would try just about all of these remedies, to be sure I’m in a better place …lesions this week have become so painful it’s hard to sit down this week
It depends on how they tested you for it and if it was by blood, then you have to find out if it was IGM or IGG antibody specific. IGG tends to be more accurate than IGM, but can also result in false positives. Western blot is the gold standard of testing for it though.
You could have it and just never show symptoms, which is how majority of the population is because they never get tested for it and STD panels don’t include it on standard testing.
Hi Mary, I don’t agree with your assessment of having antibodies but no virus. It is my understanding that having antibodies present is evidence that your immune system has come into contact with the virus. In fact, the test they do to determine if a person has HSV 1 or 2 is to test for antibodies. 96% of people with herpes do not have symptoms and that is why the virus is so easily spread. cold sores is only one symptom of the disease. other symptoms are: chronic fatigue, sore/swollen throat, feeling as though you are coming dowing with something, itching that goes away.
Hi Kevin, if you have come into contact with the virus you likely have it. if you are asking the question; I would conclude that you suspect that you have it but haven’t fully embraced the reality. I was infected by a partner who had no symptoms. His first wife of 20 years had hsv2 when they met. Because he never had an outbreak he decided he was immune. Cold sores are not the only symptom of HSV – althoug it is the most obvious. Symptoms of HSV: sore throat, chronic fatigue, the feeling of coming down with the flu, pain in the backside, itching that mysteriously goes away etc. HSV is a virus therefore, you will have some of the same systmes as a typical virus.
Hi Bummed, I would need to read Peter Thiel’s statement again; however, the way I initially understood his intention was as follows: It is one thing to follow the FDA guidelnes and it is another to go through the FDA. Therefore, I believe Theravax can continue testing outside the U.S and structure said testing according to FDA guidelines. This does not mean FDA is required for approval. The FDA is the regulatory body for the United States. It is NOT the gatekeeper/regulatory body for the entire world! Th fact that we do not have an hsv vaccine in 2017 is undisputable evidence that the FDA is a dinosaur and not up to the task of accessing the severity of the HSV epidemic to make a rational decision to move forward quickly and prudently. The FDA has failed miserably. Anyway, enough of my rant and back to the host country….
I would surmise that if Rational Vaccines can demonstrate to the host country (St. Nevis?) that strong guidelines are being followed, said host country would provide approval to go forward with trials. It will then be up to the host country to have their own Drug Regulatory body to make a decision whether or not to approve the Theravax Vaccine based on the emperical research garnered from the trials.
Choosing a country other than the US will cut down on time taken to get to market (not as much red tape as FDA) and will also cut down on cost. So, following FDA guidelines is different than going through the FDA. I would also conclude that FDA guidelines aren’t any different than another countries guidelines for drug testing/approval. If anything, there would be less conflicts of interests.
The massive differences I see are: the FDA is no longer impartial with respect to a HSV vaccine. GlaxoSmithKline not only sells Valtrex but they are the one’s behind the 30+ years of failed Sub-unit hsv vaccine research. Hmmmmm. holding up the development of a vaccine to milk the valtrex cow for as long as possible??????? The lack of ethics of the FDA and pharmacuetics is astounding!!!!
Thank you for your response, Vitamin C. I wish someone from the RVx team would respond and give us a definitive answer on this.
Exactly what I was thinking, if it’s going through fda guidelines it won’t be available for 5yrs +.. so gutted.
But that should not keep us from seeking treatment in another country that might approve the drugs much more quickly.
A double blow now that Genocea has pulled funding for GEN-003. A sad month indeed.
Kevin, most of the HSV-infected people (carriers) don’t show any symptoms. However, even in the absence of any symptoms these people regularly shed virus and infect others. This is the main reason why the HSV is widely spread.
Also Keven, you may not have HSV-1 or 2. If any of your partners is a carrier of either, then the virus was dormant in their bodies or even though they shed, it was not enough cause you to become infected. I know a couple are married, and one of the married partners (a male) has HSV-2. Although married and sexually acitive for over 15 years, the other partner does not seem to have ever contracted the virus from their partner. They are careful not to have sex when having outbreaks or any tingling sensations.
Get blood work done. Some people don’t show symptoms but spread the virus! Go to your doc and get screened!
Please do what’s best for you and seek help. You deserve to live better and be as healthy as possible. Don’t have shame.
Thank you for contacting us and voicing your concern. There are many individuals that have reached out to us in the wake of Dr. Halford’s passing who are concerned that the mission Dr. Halford worked so hard to achieve in his lifetime will now subside with his passing. We can say wholeheartedly that that is not the case and that the team at Rational Vaccines which Dr. Halford left behind is moving full speed ahead, after successfully closing a round of venture capital financing, towards full product development and testing, in a continued effort to bring our vaccines to market and treat individuals all around the globe. As we work our way through the myriad complexities of further professionalizing our company and developing our vaccines from academic lab scale production in early phase I trials into GMP grade production with follow-on clinical evaluation, we ask you to remember something important about us: first and foremost, we do not see ourselves as another biotech company competing for a piece of a hypothetical ‘market share,’ but instead a group of individuals that have aligned around a common cause. It is this same cause that Dr. Halford set out upon twenty plus years ago when he attempted to generate an attenuated live viral vaccine for HSV in order to improve the standard of therapeutic care for HSV and ultimately one day eradicate HSV globally. We are admittedly a small team, consisting of just a handful of people working around the clock, but our strength does not lie in the number of individuals working for us. Instead we see our strength lying in our dedication to the mission Dr. Halford set out upon, as well as the vast number of individuals that we may one day serve to help.
We are forever grateful to all those who have remained faithful to our efforts and intentions which are as steadfastly focused upon Dr. Halford’s mission now, as they were then.
Team Rational Vaccines
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To Dr. Halford’s Team:
Thank you for the clarification on the vaccine process! Coming from the team, we appreciate your update. Million of us now can breath much better knowing that this team continues working and people that hear rumors and saying that it’s this process it’s over are wrong!! Question: are you still targeting to sell the vaccine in the Caribbean by this fall or do you think it will take more time.. if so, could you provide an estimate date? Also, how can the million of us sufferers may help? Can we continue giving our donations ?
We are glad to hear that our response provided relief to you, and may have done the same for others. Rational Vaccines is always reachable via our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/rationalvaccines), so know that we are never too far away.
In terms of your question regarding being able to access Theravax HSV-2 from the Caribbean, we’d like to clarify that there is nowhere in the world where Rational Vaccines is considering to sell the vaccine to individuals. We have explored what is known as “named patient programs” for providing patients access to Theravax HSV-2 through their primary care practitioners, but are still evaluating the most responsible ways of doing so, in localities where such named patient access is understood and accepted from a regulatory standpoint, and therefore for the time being we have no update to share in this regard. For more information on named patient programs, feel free to visit the following Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Named_patient_programs
As far as ways that you and others can help, we would say that spreading the word about us to your friends and loved ones is always a great thing and helps us connect to more individuals who may one day benefit from what we are working so hard to accomplish. In addition, feel free to “like” our Facebook page and share articles we post there, as that is also a great way to share our message and our mission with others.
Thank you so much for your kind words!
Can someone please reach me directly via email or phone number? Or how can I reach you directly? I personally used to have conversations with Dr. Halford… however no answers neither his direct emails and phone calls!! I am desperate and anxious to talk to someone in this team. Thank you so much
We are glad that at least some of your questions and concerns have been addressed by us. In regards to our availability to engage with you and others by telephone, we kindly would like to remind you that we are a very small team, working under tight timelines and a small budget so we do not have the personal resources required to engage with individuals by phone, but we do endeavor to address all questions we receive by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), so feel free to reach us there.
Team Rational Vaccines:
Thank you so much for your response as those of us who read this blog are very grateful for your dedication and perseverance to this cause. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Dr. Halford’s family and with your team.
I support you 100%. I am working with UW here in Washington state. I am 66 years old no symptoms but have antibodies for one and two. UW is going to talk to me this week. From our past conversations with them there is no method they know of to test for the actual DNA or virus. The PCR test requires an outbreak which I have never had on my lips or lower body. My X husband had a severe case of Herpes one. I was married for 30 years. I was exposed but never had an outbreak. I do not believe I have the virus but do have the antibodies. I understand a vaccine is being created and the fact that some people do have just the antibodies has supported the possibility of creating the vaccine. Could you direct me to a way to conclude my status? I would be happy to be in a trial if one exists. Thank you
Any statistics about the result of the first waves of trial ?? any roadmap for avaibility ? Or when would you announce the next step ?? Need enlightment please and dates and numbers even if the feedback was not good enough ! maybe you should create an application for follow up ! Regards
Dear Suffering. Naturally I hope you are wrong. We shouldn’t ever give up on this and there is no reason to give up. There is everything to gain from getting word of our suffering out into the medical fraternity and we now have a vast array of research papers at our fingertips, to prove it. I’m often reminded of the medical profession’s reaction to a Dr Semmelweis, who claimed that it was necessary for physicians to wash hands before maternal delivery, in order to reduce the number of deaths from infection. He was ridiculed by his colleagues and they were unhappy with this new finding because it presented the physician as the possible source of the infection. Medical science, by its very nature, is always behind, slowly catching up.
Whilst I’d agree that the chain of events this year has presented great challenges, firstly with the manuscript being submitted to Future Medicine, then receiving a negative response, followed more recently by Dr Halford’s unfortunate passing away, I think that the greater extent of publicity that we are seeing, at least has a chance of putting the subject of herpes-complications on the table for discussion. Previously it was a non-subject.
Some sufferers well know that when they approach their medical practitioners, they often receive a blank look and a rejection of the idea that herpes is the causative factor. What we do have is a very large community of sufferers with herpes neurological complications and ongoing morbidity from it, or simply recurrent viral activity. This sort of publicity may present an opportunity for people like you and I, together with the many others who read this blog, to convey what we’re going through and put into eloquent and persuasive terms, why the vaccine from William Halford – even if it caused immune reactions in certain individuals – is infinitely better that the misery and despair that we suffer as a direct consequence of the virus. This is essentially the sort of argument we need to put forward – that for thirty years almost no progress has been made within the field of HSV vaccines and Dr Halford was one of the few to make substantial progress with it.
Perhaps the extreme efforts which Dr Halford went to, in order to launch the vaccine in St Kitts, gives some indication of how he acknowledged the level of suffering that so many of us are going though. I am sure that those arrangements within St Kitts and all the associated travel for the participants was no small undertaking. I think the press needs to be made aware of just why Dr Halford was motivated into doing it – it was based on the considerable feedback and pleas for help that he received from the many sufferers who followed his progress. It’s really up to us to be forceful. Much of the evidence of patients’ suffering is within this blog! Jim, Thailand.
Dear Tan Na, try to keep optimistic with all of us here, that we will indeed see this vaccine’s availability soon. We all understand what you’re going through. Jim – Thailand.
Here is a link to the article you are referencing. Ihttps://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2017/09/01/herpes-vaccine-firm-backed-by-peter-thiel-promises-fda-oversight.htm. I find it absolutely fascinating the degree of pressure that has been applied to Rational Vaccines!!! I think it is amazing and disgusting that this clinical trial is being labeled unethical. Frankly, it is unethical that a vaccine has not been developed for all this time and subunit vaccines continue to get funded even with decades of failed research behind them. Herpes is a Stigmatizing, isolating and dangerous disease that has been neglected and sidelined. I dont, for one minute, regard the FDA as a guardian of ethical practice. They maintain the status quo; whish is Valtex. During this period of time herpes has grown to epidemic proportions and they have the audacity and arrogance to comment on ethics!!!! And, the funders of Rational Vaccine now see massive $$$$ signs,,,on the one hand they critize Halford for his study but on the other they have seen the massive Hugh success of the vaccine due to said clinical trial. They aren’t pulling out – that’s for sure!!! I think many people in the herpes vaccine game are pissed of because Halford beat them to the punch and with good results. There are so many players that don’t want this vaccine to see the light of day! The politics is absolutely disgusting especially given that public health is on the line. I’m angry. Angry at the FDA. Angry at the narrative being spun about Halford and angry at investors pandering to the FDA.
Well said Vitamin C, your comments are always very helpful at difficult times. I think quite often it’s also the case that the medical world moves very slowly and reluctantly and at times appears to be extremely unwilling to commit to new ways of thinking, even in the face of what we would regard as compelling evidence. That said, there does seem to be a degree of injustice in allowing the vaccine to reach those who really need it – in some cases quite desperately. Jim – Thailand.
Since no one official has answered my question I assume rational vaccines is now under the fda microscope for having solved the herpes problem. It seems like the chance of us seeing this medication in any country is now hanging by a thread. FDA can burn in hell. Bill Halford is a HERO!
From my understanding, the THERAVAX HSV-2 VACCINE can never be a cure since all the HSV-2 that you acquired still remains alive in your body in the nervous system – ganglia.
What the Vaccine is meant to do is to cause the body to build up a strong defense against the HSV-2 virus – something that is lacking in those who continue to have outbreaks. By overwhelming your body with enough Theravax HSV-2, the thought is that the body will come to fully recognize the HSV-2 virus and then develop a defense that prevents future outbreaks when any of the HSV-2 virus in your body tries to become active.
— For instance, many individuals who initially experienced a severe outbreak of HSV-2 will most likely build up a robust immune defense against the HSV-2 virus over time. For those who only had little contact with the HSV-2 virus will initially only get a small area of outbreak. In this case, that person’s defense system will not be so fully activated so as to recognize and build up a strong defense against the HSV-2 virus. Such persons may likely get frequent and continued outbreaks throughout their lives. —
So, if the Theravax HSV-2 vaccine works, then eventually you will not experience anymore outbreaks (if that is what you are experiencing) because your immune system was given enough HSV-2 via Theravax to build up a powerful defense against the virus. However, as HSV-2 viruses in your body attempt to become active (although you remain symptom free) you will likely still experience some shedding – which means that active HSV-2 virus could still reside near or on the surface of the skin where you would have gotten an outbreak. And this shedding could cause others to contract the HSV-2 virus from you through skin breaks or sex, etc.
In summary… I believe that, even with Theravax-HSV-2, the chance will remain that you may always still be able to potentially infect others with HSV-2 even though you remain symptom free – but the chances of infecting others would likely be considerably diminished.
When I asked the doctor he stated that the shedding levels were below the detectable levels but they haven’t had the time (years) to determine if it kept from spreading the virus.
Hi PHILIP. You wrote
This is impossible to answer. Was this your doctor, or the doctor involved with Theravax-2? To whom does the shedding refer to? Does it refer to yourself or to test subjects of Theravax-2, or some other test?
If this refers to yourself, keep in mind that shedding normally stops at times, even with those who get frequent outbreaks. You will not be shedding consistently 365 days per year. And shedding is not as severe as other times. Not all the virus that is latent in your body will activate at the same time. The amount of shedding, or whether one sheds at all at any given time, has to do with a number of factors that affect your immune system, or something (inside or outside your body) that triggers at least some of your latent HSV-2 to become activated from a latent state.
However, a person that is shedding and is symptom free will never know for sure if they are shedding, or how much, because no visible symptoms exist although you may feel some tingling or itching sensation which would alert you in such cases that you are likely shedding.
So, it’s a gamble. . . If that person who has herpes-2, but is symptom free, wants to do something risky with someone else – especially someone that person cares about. . . If the risky behavior continues over time, at some point that person’s partner(s) will become infected when the person happens to be shedding in enough amounts, even though symptom free.
Hi Shaw,. Dr. G addressed this question in an earlier post. They have not done any tests on shedding so they don’t know how much shedding is reduced by the vaccine. Currently, the trials are focusing on safety and reduction of outbreaks and other symptoms. My personal opinion is that when the vaccine is available to the general public; shedding will probably be less important
It’s a miracle that Rationale Vaccines has had their first human trial. The company has had a major blow…Dr. Halford,the lead researcher sadly passed away from cancer just recently. I no longer worry about HSV because I know, and feel secure with the knowledge that the first ever human trial was a success. Also, Rationale Vaccines has taken the bold and innovate step to skip FDA approval and seek safe harbour in countries where vaccine approval is much more practical!!! So, based ony understanding of info provided by Dr. Hey, Agustin and Rationale Vaccines, the vaccine will be available sooner rather than later!!!
Hi Mark, I don’t see any reason for suspicion. There have been press releases issued. Dr. Halford had been cited in numerous peer reviewed journals and he was a well published scientist who was a well documented professor at Southern Illinois University. Dr. Halford just passed away a couple of months ago from a long battle with cancer therefore Rationale Vaccines (company releasing Theravax) are likely in the process of reorganizing and GRIEVING due to the loss of the key research (and friend). As a daily blog follower for 3 years, it is my understanding that Rationale Vaccines it tasked with getting this vaccine to market without a major funder. My understanding from press releases, that they are courting some interested parties. I am hypothesizing, that because no big funder has signed on the dotted line yet, that Rational Vaccines needs to insure they remain financially viable.
Hi Johny, I hope Dr. G doesn’t mind me responding to part of your question. Although you have no outbreaks you still “shed”. Shedding is when the virus is present on the skin but doesn’t result in a cold sore. Studies have clearly shown that shedding is contagious. I contracted HSV from a person who never had an outbreak. I contracted the disease after the second time I had intercourse with the person. I had very mild symptoms that I didn’t attribute to HSV but in hind sight, it is very clear that I contracted it very early from this person. So, you may have symptoms such; mild fatigue, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes around the neck etc. HSV is virus and therefore manifest as such. Therefore, if you feel unwell or under the weather and think you are coming down with the flu, it could be HSV and your immune systems attempt to stop a full blow outbreak. But, you are contagious – sorry.
is this a page to out people ? as it wont let you be in it unless you are a member. you wont get many of the people who trailed it to talk up. there is a few on honeycomb (unconfirmed of course)
The Facebook group you mentioned is for people who have gone through the trials that took place in the Caribbean or for people who may want to travel to another country to get the HSV-2 vaccine. That is a much smaller group than the Therevax site group, which includes people who have been following research on a possible vaccine. The group you mentioned is a closed group, meaning that you have to be approved before you can join. I plan to join. I assume someone could join for the wrong reasons and attempt to “out” people, but that is a risk I’m willing to take. I wish you every blessing as you deal with this condition.
You know what, I think you are right, it was a wrong idea for me to try to continue this blog. It was Bill’s blog and perhaps it should have been closed when Bill passed… My bad…
It’s fine, don’t bother.
Please let us all know when and where the compassionate sales are being conducted,so that we can get there asap.
Is the Theravax vaccine for both HSV1 & HSV 2 (Genital herpes ) or are there separate vaccine
Please understand that not everyone in this blog may appreciate the 20 plus years of Professor Halford dedication to get where we are now in finding this herpes cure…
I did start following professor Halford for more than 10 years.. and seen people from all different paths… some were rude, others were ignorants and others just without knowledge of sacrifice and challenges.. PLEAE DONT CLOSE THIS BLOG, this probably the avenue for millions to get the best info, to get the vaccine when the time comes…. this blog is the light at the end of the Tunnel and the hope of many of us..please ignore those whom don’t know what it takes to maintain us informed… thank you for the time to answer our questions and to keep Dr Halford Legacy..: don’t give up. Even in the hardest moments of his life and at the pretty end… Dr Halford always dedicated time to answer or provide info in this Blog!!!! Thank you, thank you
Please dont stop posting. The rest of us need this blog, you are doing a good job!
I was wondering if theravax is recomended for asymptomatic carriers or people with very little symptons.Thanks for your time !
I think I speak for the vast majority of readers when I say we are extremely thankful that you have continued Dr. Halford’s blog. Any information that you provide to us is appreciated. I am sure that you are spending your free time on this blog to help provide people with information and to continue Dr. Halford’s legacy. Please continue to post on here, whatever information you can provide. Other readers should be aware that you may not have perfect information on all aspects of the development and distribution of the vaccine and they should also be thankful for any information you provide voluntarily and on your own free time. So I thank you sir for your continuing contribution and I hope you continue to contribute. It means a lot.
As someone who reads the posts on this site regularly, I appreciate your efforts to continue this blog. As a co-author and colleague of Dr. Halford’s, you are in a unique position to provide valuable insight to those who rely on this site for information. I, for one, don’t expect perfection from you and appreciate the time you spend helping those of us ‘afflicted’ with this condition understand what is happening with the clinical trials and the timeline, as best you know it, regarding the availability of Theravax. Thank you so very much for your research efforts to date and I sincerely ask you to please continue posting to this blog as your time permits.
Dr. Please keep this blog going. This is not only to keep Bill’s legacy as a pioneer in HSV vaccine development but to contine to bring knowledge and hope to all who are afflicted with HSV.
Please don’t do that. I guess sometimes is hard to deal with some rude people and easy to lose the patience. But there are many other people pending of this blog and very grateful for all information and all work Dr. Bill and all of you are doing.
Man, you guys have lost your mind!! The good Dr is trying to be helpful and instead attack. Look, I would assume a lot issues came up in the passing of Dr Halford. Give them a bit of time to sort it out and formulate a plan. The reason they aren’t going to tell you everything is bc if they change thier mind or fall short, people will crucify them. Businesss is tough alone, blaming doesn’t help the situation. The big picture is worth more then just a couple people getting an early dose.
Forget that guy. What you’re doing is incredible and don’t let anyone discourage or dissuade you.
People are, just as they’ve always been, desperate for a cure. But now that there seems to be one so close on the horizon, closer than ever before, people are in a full-on hysteria.
I beg you to continue maintaining this blog, ignore the negativity and nonsense, and continue working hard toward a vaccine that will bring millions a better life.
Thank you sincerely,
Hi Dr. Gersburg, I have greatly appreciated the time and effort Dr. Halford took to manage this blog. And, during that period of time Dr. H had to deal with a number of crackpots! However, those people were far and few between and most people contributed in the spirit of good will and appreciation.
I have been following this blog on a daily basis for about 3 years and it has given me hope. I very much appreciate the time you have taken to maintain this blog and I hope you continue. The post by MIssed the Train was abusive from my perspective as well as irrational.
The reality is that it is a miracle that this vaccine is at human trials!!! When I began reading this blog three years ago, the timeline from Bill was very very diaphanous.So, once again, it is miracle that we are in human trials!!! the first ever for a live attenuated hsv virus!!! It is also a miracle, that the scientists developing this vaccine are willing to take the time to update the public in such an intimate and direct way! Wow! pretty fantastic!
A rational person knows that vaccine availability will start out slow to ensure that production of said vaccine is finacially feasible. Based on my reading of this blog, interviews by Bill and Agustin, I expected the following 1)The human trial 2). The limited/targeting compassionate sales 3). a slow move to widen the scope of vaccine availability. So, from what I have understood, everything is on track. Lastly, from what I have understood from your previous posts, there is a push to have this vaccine available in the Domincan Republic and currently we are in “wait and see” mode.
So, thank you!:)
Hi IAN, if you have been diligently following the posts made by Dr. G, you will have read that the HSV 2 Vaccine is the only one availalbe at this time. The HSV 1 Theravax has not been through a human clinical trial yet.
Por favor doutor continue suas publicaçoes ,nao e por que um tem opiniao ridicularizada e que todos vamos ficar sem noticias
Since the vaccine is supposed to suppress HSV -2 does that mean it will get rid of outbreaks or just decrease them? Also how can I get in contact with those over in the Caribbean to see about getting the vaccine?
What mean compensionate sales???is there vaccina already avalable?
I just want to know which one do you think will be made re effective, theravax or GEN-000 and why? Because the GEN-003 will be released soon, and everybody with herpes is going to be jumping on that why wait?? So tell me why please? Will the shedding be reduced a whole lot you think?
I am sure that Theravax will work better. Bill explained multiple times why so I am not going to repeat the explanation, just read his previous posts.
At this time, we don’t plan any studies in Brazil.. Sorry..
Science does take time… I’ll try to post the news here as soon as have something to share and I am sure RVx will post any progress on their website..
Not right now, but soon. Once I have the information, I’ll post it here
Before we knew it was the great Dr answering questions. Who is in control of this site now?
My name is Ed Gershburg. Read the earlier posts, I’ve explained everything there.
By compassionate sales you mean the vaccine will be available for whomever would like to purchase it? If so this would be awesome! I just hope it don’t cost a arm and a leg. I want to thank the team left behind by Dr. H, I know he is proud of you guy’s. Keep up the good work and hope to see more updates soon!
That is correct.. and thank you. More updates are coming..
I have been diagnosed with HSV 1.( Genital Herpes)
I checked online and the compassionate use program has been initiated in the Dominican Republic ( Minerva Laboratories)
They get you in touch with Dr.Veloz for a consultation.
Can you confirm the above information.
This information is correct. Their website is still under construction, but the contact information seems to be valid.
Hi Dr. Gershburg, this is wonderful news! Thank you for sharing it:))
Good writing from Europe and would be interested in talking about the consultation with Dr. Veloz. And that data be provided on how the vaccine sales procedure is developed through Minerva Laboratories. I have several questions that would please me.
1- What effects could it have for those who carry the HSV1yHSV2 vaccine?
2 – being vaccinated with teravax would not be acts for future vaccines?
3-Why is there no official statement in RVX about these procedures ?.
We need an explanation to be able to carry out this step I trust in haldford but it is not now I think that we need that it is put in official knowledge for the followers of this blog.
A friendly greeting, excuse me for my English
I am searching for answer online and i am really confused.I read many texts how vacina faild and now here i read vacina is coming soon.Which vaccina it is and what means soon.
Sorry for my poor english.
Please please please answer to me as i dont understand of which vaccina now you are talking about as my english is not perfect
Boa noite dr !!!!
Falo do brasil tudo bem ? minha duvida e ;
_Sao quantas fases da vacinas ? E pelos estudos sabemos que o virus e parecido com HIV,digo ele se esconde .Pelo fato dele se esconder nos glandulos nervosos , e o HIV nao sabemos onde esconde .Nesse caso e menos complicado que descobri a cura pro HIV ? Nao que eu nao queira a cura do HIV .O que voçe me diz
Sorry, I don’t speak Portuguese (or Spanish)..
So will the vaccine prevent HSV-2 from being transmitted? My boyfriend is H+ and I am not. Hoping to find a vaccine to prevent me from getting it or a vaccine that “cures” him.
At this point, there is no guarantee that the vaccine will fully prevent shedding. In animal models, the shedding was significantly reduced, but it has not yet been tested in people.
Hi Doc, this is in response to your comments about viral shedding. If Theravax doesn’t prevent shedding then it’s not really a vaccine is it? It becomes just another form of treatment of the symptoms. You stated that viral shedding in animals was significantly reduced, what exactly does that mean? Did it stop?
In animals it was below the detectable levels. Any reasonable scientist will tell you that there is no “absolute” effects. If the shedding is below the detection level, it does not mean it’s zero. Once we measure shedding in people, we will have a more accurate prediction. Either way, the vaccine will reduce virus spread simply because it’s more effective than current options. Regarding the definition of what’s considered a “vaccine”, around this website to be very helpful: https://www.historyofvaccines.org.
Thank you doc. Let’s hope we can get to those human results soon!
There is no specific timeline at this point.
Will there be a double vaccine test? Could one virus be the dominant causation of outbreaks?
Will both vaccines be for sale?
At this stage only HSV-2 vaccine will be offered. Down the road, a double-vaccine regimen will be tested, but I don’t have a timeline yet for such test.
I was not involved in the first trial, but saw Bill’s summaries. In his estimates, 7 out of 8 double-positive participants reported significant or partial improvements in their symptoms. So, it looks like there is a benefit to these people to be treated with Theravax. Your suggestion to use both Theravax HSV-1 and -2 is interesting and needs to be tested.
Thanks for your posts it’s almost treated us 25% of disease.
IS vaccine coming as HSV1 and HSV 2 separately?
For only HSV 1 how many doses required in how many days?
Will it available in India at the same time of market release?
There are two versions of theravax, HSV-1 and HSV-2. The HSV-1 version has not been tested yet and I cannot tell you much about dosing. The HSV-2 version will be offered initially in Caribbeans.
I am interested in traveling to the carribean islands. Do you know which island will be getting Theravax HSV2 first? I assume it won’t be the British Virgin Islands?
Not yet. Once I have the info, I’ll post it..
Where can I find this article? Please provide link.
Not sure I understand what article are you talking about..
The trial in 2016 was to test the safety of the HSV-2 vaccine. The safety trial planned for this year is to test the safety of the HSV-1 vaccine. We are also looking for partners in several countries (including Mexico) to conduct a more formal phase I trial for the HSV-2 vaccine before proceeding to phase 2. Based on the 2016 Theravax (HSV-2) trial, this vaccine appears to be safe and many of the participants reported improvements in their symptoms. This vaccine may be offered later in the Caribbean. The timeline of these events is not finalized yet. I’ll post more information as it becomes available.
What are the countries to conduct clinical trial? If you are able to include Mongolia in the list, we will be cooperate with you since we are working in this field. For your reference, I attached here our website. http://www.onomfoundation.org
But if it’s already proven to be safe why does it need another safety trial? Why does it not go on to phase 2? Just trying to understand more about how the whole trial process works.
The first trial was informal. We need a more formal trial to move the vaccine forward.
So sad to hear about the passing of Dr. Hallford. How can I volunteer for the hsv1 trial?
Sign up at the RVx’s website.. You’ll be contacted in due time..
I don’t have this information yet.
When it comes to the caribbeans, will it be possible for people from for instance Europe, to go there and get the vaccine? I saw in an earlier comment, that you said it would be available in a couple of months, does this still seems doable?:)
Thanks for your effort! I really suffer from this annoying virus – so I’m looking forward to your response! Take care
I am not aware of any geographic restrictions.. I also didn’t set a specific timeline, I just said I’ll let everybody know when it becomes available.
My biggest question is, after somebody is given the vaccine for HSV2 will it still be possible to transmit the virus to another person?
Good question and unfortunately at this point we just don’t know. With these questions I personally try to err on the side of caution and assume that even after the vaccination one can shed some virus. Significantly less, but not total 0. In reality, at some point in the future, someone will have to run a study where shedding will be compared in the same group of people pre- and post-vaccination. Once we have such data, we will be able to make a more accurate prediction. Hope it answers your question and sorry I cannot give you a more concrete answer.
Unfortunately the good doctor passed away due to cancer he was fighting while fighting for all of us! God bless this man! He is what every doctor should aspire to be!
I believe with a couple of months..
Hell yes!!!!!!!! Guess I know where my next dive trip is!!!!!!!!
Wow!!!! Fantastic News! Thanks for the update
Which city can i get the vaccine? It work for hsv-1 too? And where the news will be updated when the vaccine is sold? And my deepest condolence for dr. Bill, kind of shock while reading the comment with fascinating news but there are sad news about dr. Bill that have passed away, good bless u dr. Bill
so before 2017 ends we will have the vaccine for sale atleast in caribbeans ? which other countries are being worked upon for this ?
When is this vaccine coming to US chicago ? Why is it taking so long like all the others vaccines? We gone die
The RVx does not sell Theravax yet, but what Mr. Fernandez said is true. Theravax will be offered in that jurisdiction by a number of doctors.
Thank you for taking the time to update given the very sad circumstances of Dr. Halford’s passing. I think he was the only scientist that developed and maintained a “relationship”, through this website, with the people he was striving to assist with creating his vaccine – very unique! It provided the average person with the chance to understand some of the science of the disease. I access this site daily because it is such a source of comfort – it has been a valuable resource in my life and it is wonderful that it is being maintained by Rationale Vaccines. Way to go to Mr. Fernandez (III), who reached out to Dr. Halford and began a collaborative relationship to assist Dr. Halford with getting the vaccine to a human testing stage as well as a broader vision to get it to the public! Dr, Halford, through his research efforts, has thrown a stone in a pond and the ripple effect will be infinite.
hay q tener fe igual soy joven y contraje hace 2 años el HSV 2 y HSV 1 con brotes cada 2 o 3 meses. al principio parece q el mundo se viene abajo pero no es asi no estamos solos .hay gente luchando a nuestro lado y todos en este foro somos la fuerza de seguir adelante pronto habra una cura estoy muy seguro q el legado q nos deja el Dr haldford es de darnos a todos nosotros una vida nueva y muy pronto ten fe amiga gabriella.
So with the passing of Dr. Halford, is this vaccine going to continue it’s trial phases ? This is terrible news for both his family and the millions of people counting on his work. What will happen next ?
Yes, we will do our best to continue what Dr. Halford and Agustin Fernandez started. As I mentioned in the earlier post, I’ll post the updates on this blog as we progress..
We all hope you continue this fight with the same fight and gusto of the good Dr. I assume most people on here like me, we keep checking this site and the Facebook page daily for updates but don’t like the page as a tip off to our condition. Will you be laying out a timeline or plan?
James, we will continue this fight and finish what Dr. Halford had started. The plan at this point is to conduct a safety trial of Theravax (HSV-1) in Q4 2017 and continue to work towards a formal Phase I trial with Theravax (HSV-2).
Who so ever might be posting replies since Dr. H’s unfortunate departure. Thank you. For the quick and continuous updates are responses.
You (as Dr. H) had posted:
“The plan at this point is to conduct a safety trial of Theravax (HSV-1) in Q4 2017 and continue to work towards a formal Phase I trial with Theravax (HSV-2)”
So the version of Theravax that will likely become available on certain caribbean islands in 2017, is only useful against HSV-1? So if someone had HSV-2 and had the means to go to the caribbean for treatment. That version of Theravax would be useless in that case?
Yes, this safety trial will be geared towards people with HSV-1. For the HSV-2, please see the previous comments below..
Thank you again for responding. I’ve read much of the content below but still unclear on one thing. So that vaccine that might become available this yr is HSV-1 targeted. So if someone with HSV-2 went down to one of those jurisdictions and received the vaccine, might there be any benefits?
There was a woman from the UK that was part of your trials, and who shared her story on women’s health mag. She seemed to have HSV-2 and benefitted greatly from the vaccine. So I’m a bit confused. Thanks in advance.
Please see my response above..
you have been exceedingly patient and considerate to answer the barrage of questioning. It is an embarrassing, nagging, sometimes debilitating and emotionally impactful condition. thanks again for your consideration of this fact in responding to us.
As I said earlier, I’m not Bill, but I’ll do what I can to keep this blog and his research going..
You are doing a fabulous job at stepping in where Bill left off. He’s got your back – as we all do. Thank you!
On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 12:12 PM Herpes Vaccine Research wrote:
> Herpes Vaccine Research commented: “As I said earlier, I’m not Bill, but > I’ll do what I can to keep this blog and his research going..” >
RIP Dr Halford, thanks for all your hard work. I hope your work leads to a change in how we fight hsv and you get the recognition you deserve.
Terrible news indeed
Is this true!!!!!!!?
“News is sad. RIP Dr William Halford 6/22/17”
If so, how did he pass away?
we did not know you were suffering more than us because of cancer..even though u were concentrate of our pain ….very sad for us that god call u back…..u will be in our memories
forever doctor……muhaaaaaaaaaaa…..RIP DR HALFORD
This is very good news.
I acquired HSV-2 from my Wife shortly after we got married; at least I think so but she never had any visible symptoms and still has not 7 years later…but I have terrible outbreaks on my shaft and now even buttock area that is painful to sit.
This has really depressed me and am so scared our little girl might get it from the toilet seat that I disinfect the seat thoroughly every use
My hands are also in a terrible state due to all the disinfectant and scrubbing of them due to my paranoia of passing this on to anyone
Please please carry on and if you need volunteers for trials abroad, count me in!
Suffering in the UK
Are you still out there?
Have you quit posting…
Love and Light
I always check for recent updates due to having hsv2 myself. I have had to become a mum calmer person and take the blue tablets for 6 months to get ontoo of my breakouts.
I understand that its not that hard to find a cure but i have no doubt in my mind with the mental and physical pain with herpeas. Almost everyone would be happy to donate and have enough vultures so just need someone to find a cure….
I understand your mood. For being better, please wash your body with baking soda and apple viniger. Put 2 tbsp baking soda on warm water and wash your body with it . Plus that you should do this way with apple vinegar. This way help you for decrease symptom and itching and help you tolerate this disease until vaccine arrive to the market . Hope you will be better.
ELITRYA, Are you saying you had oral herpes since 8, but just now had an OB? How would you know you had it at 8? Oral herpes does not have a stigma like gentital, it is considered the norm. People would trade places who have it genitally w you having it orally any day.. you and about 85% of the world’s population has oral herpes. Just trying to understand where your devastation and shame is coming from? Most of us that follow bill have genital and completely abnormal symptoms, to where we don’t get years and years of dormacy like you sound like you do, we can’t control the virus w meds, have constantt obs, neuropathy from it and it impacts our health so bad, it trigger’s other conditions. It’s the quintessential “if everyone threw their problems in a pile, you’d be fighting to grab yours back”. I couldn’t bring myself to say all that w just oral herpes, especially to someone who has cancer. Sometimes people really need to get out of their heads and look around at the pain and suffering around them. It will really help you overcome things that aren’t that big of a deal. I’m symptomatic frequently and can’t even have a relationship, because I’d probably pass it. I’m 2 months shy of no sex, but you have a partner.. trust me, there are far wrse things to be depressed about, turn a few cold sores.
It sounds like you received the “Skinner vaccine,” which was not live HSv-2 but rather was a ultraviolet- or formalin-inactivated preparation of HSV-1. This is parallel in principle to the injected, Salk polio vaccine (i.e., inactivated poliovirus), which is less effective than the live Sabin (oral) vaccine.
If you want to look up publications on the Skinner vaccine, go to Pubmed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) and search under the terms “Skinner herpes vaccine”. The bottom line is that if the Skinner (inactivated HSV-1) vaccine worked in a subset of genital herpes patients, then live-attenuated HSV-1 and HSV-2 vaccines should be more effective…..particularly if the serotype o the disease-causing virus (in a person’s body) is matched with the live HSV serotype used in the therapeutic vaccination series.
– Bill H
Any forthcoming news on this information given in the article below??
If true, this is huge news for rational vaccines and have sufferers the world over. Truly exciting, Peter Thiel is a big believer in innovation and has the money and power to back it up. I know you have a lot going on Bill, but I was just curious if you could shed any light on this potentially ground breaking partnership?
P.S The work you’ve put into this cause even while you’re going through your own personal battle is commendable and testament to the man you are. We love and respect you Bill. Keep up the good fight.
Dan, the partnership is in the final negotiation steps (it was slowed down by Bill’s decline). Once the negotiations are completed, it will be formally announced.
If the vaccine is offered anywhere, do we have to follow a process or procedures to get the vaccine? Or just visit the authorize doctors and get the vaccine?
I’ll post this info once I have it..
Wow it seem like everytime someone is fighting for change they end up dead so sad..so as suffers we have too stand up and fight to get a cute
On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, Herpes Vaccine Research wrote:
> Herpes Vaccine Research commented: “Dan, the partnership is in the final > negotiation steps (it was slowed down by Bill’s decline). Once the > negotiations are completed, it will be formally announced.” >
What is the main complication or issue right now with Theravax that is the cause for it not being released yet. Also, would you recommend a candidate to be on anti virals or not taking any medication at all since I know you want to nip it in the butt right away when the virus is active and more traceable. Last question, would a vaccine like this be able to treat a herpes 2 patient to where they can never transmit the virus through unprotected sex and no shedding at all? Thank you Bill, hope this message reaches you kindly.
Thank you Dr,
I’m surprised no one is asking the obvious…”when and where will we be able to have this Theravax administered at our own expense outside of the US?” I know you are well aware of the desperation and admiration we all share in your brilliant advancements for this life ruining disease. We are desperate for a date a hope a timeline that might shed some light for our families and loved ones and those of us trying to put our restless minds from worrying about the spread of this horrible infliction to others. I want my life back. I can’t live like this.
It works like any other vaccine pretty much, there is no cure for viruses, only vaccine that teaches your immune system to better deal with virus, or permanently keep it dormant. Would be like chicken pox, virus is forever inside you but your immune system keep it at bay.
We are all self absorbed in our battle and hope for a cure. How is your battle?
My battle is ongoing. When I quit posting, then you will know that my battle is over.
– Bill H.
Is this description as popular talk , correct and right ?
If this medication eventually makes it to consumers it will be a miracle. Reason being is that the FDA are not likely to approve a drug that has the potential to dent the revenue brought in to the pharmaceutical industry year on year from suffers of hsv1 and hsv2. Sales of drugs currently approved by the FDA to treat hsv1 and hsv2 brings in billions of dollar. They don’t want you to be cured they want to treat you so that you can keep them rich! I truly hope this new drug does make it to the streets but sadly i don’t think it will be the case. People need to seriously look at their diet and lifestyle that’s the only to stop this evil from attacking your immune system. God bless you all.
I agree with Felix. You’re a good man and I thank you very much for trying to put an end to this virus.
Is there any update at all? I think this community would be grateful for anything at this point. I spoke to a 21 year old girl today who wants to commit suicide over the physical & psychological pain she is enduring due to her HSV diagnosis. She is holding on for this vaccine to get her life back! I think any information for sufferers could do a great deal of good!
Thank you for all that you are doing! And God bless you! You’re a true American hero to many!
Hi same here every day nerve pain is worsening., i always get herpes on eyes. I think my skin become over sensitive because herpes.., planing to commit sucide.if the theravax doesn’t work sure i am going to commit sucide.my body is burning i dont know how long i going to handle it…
I get the aching in the ears. I also get upper body burning on my shoulders, arms, and face. I’m pretty sure these are symptoms of the herpes as they started exactly when i got herpes and they only come when i have a breakout. I also get nerve pain in my left upper butt, outside of my thigh, outside of my lower leg, then shooting pains on my toes and heel. I’m hoping that i can get the vaccine soon. I hope Dr. Halford is using his time wisely to get all his reports done. I’m hoping he spends much more time doing that than posting on his blog.
If he can offer the vaccine this year as he said is a possibility, I believe if he can get it in mexico he will have plenty of cash flow from americans wanting the vaccine. It would be so easy for me to drive there every month for treatment for 6 months. its a 10 hour drive and i’m several states away from Mexico.
If he keeps it in the Caribbean, I would live on a sail boat for 6 months while treated. No problems either way.
Dr. Hanford could be a rich man from this, I have tested negative 3 times up to months and still believe I may have this bullshit disease. I will go anywhere just to get a vaccine to get my life back. This shit is miserable!
I’m the same friend, the pain in my ears is what bothers me the most. It’s terrible, almost daily. I’m almost giving up.
I must say that I am very impressed that you offer a likely insight that very few have noticed to date. Specifically, you write……”Let’s say a person has been exposed to HSV 2, gets correctly diagnosed within weeks and shortly thereafter receives the Theravax vaccine – would that help the person’s immune system have a better response to the virus? Will it decrease their chances of experiencing severe HSV symptoms? Maybe cause it to become latent for good or a long time?”
I do suspect that perhaps the greatest opportunity for the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine to reduce the long-term severity of herpetic disease would be at the time a person is correctly diagnosed with HSV-2 genital herpes. At issue is the fact that some patients experience “primary episodes of HSV-2 genital herpes” that drag on for 6+ months with lesions popping up once a week for the duration. All of that time that the initial HSV-2 infection takes to get under control by the host immune system is time that the virus may seed the neurons in the spinal ganglia and set up a larger and larger reservoir of latent infection.
If such a patient was started on the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine at the time of diagnosis, this should greatly accelerate the development of a protective immune response and would reduce (1) the size of the latent reservoir of wild-type HSV-2 that seeds the spinal ganglia and (2) this in turn should reduce that individual’s odds of future herpes outbreaks.
So, long story short, yes I am intrigued by the possibility / likelihood that administration of Theravax^HSV-2 as close to the primary infection as possible could truncate the course of herpetic disease and greatly reduce recipients’ odds of future recurrent herpetic disease.
hola doctor le escribo en español es mi idioma espero pueda entender o traducir.en primer lugar un fuerte abrazo y muchas gracias por todo su trabajo lo sigo a diario muchas gracias.es usted una esperanza el motor q nos mueve dia a dia.
mi pregunta son las siguientes hace dos años q estamos mi pareja y yo infectados hsv 2 tenemos brotes aproximadamente cada tres meses por ejemplo en enero y ahora en marzo de nuevo siempre en la misma zona y dura aproximadamente entre 7 y 10 dias.mientras los brotes estan no tenemos relaciones y no tomamos ningun medicamento solo aciclovir en crema y una higiene esmerada con agua y jabón. cuando los brotes desaparecen esperamos unos dias y retomamos las relaciones intimas sin protección.
mi pregunta es que mantener relaciones con mi pareja portadores los dos del virus si esto puede afectar algo el desarrollo del virus lo puede hacer mas fuerte lo podemos estar pasando mutuamente????.
q efectos podria tener su vacuna en nuestro caso que tenemos unos brotes muy cortos al año y que no son como la mayoria de los casos que aqui leo que tienen muy seguidos brotes he incluso casi no desaparecen.??????
comentarle q estamos disponibles para apoyar su proyecto desde nuestro humilde ser y que estamos con ganas de ir donde sea necesario para obtener su vacuna.
q me recomienda usted pasos a seguir para si llega el momento de ir a por su vacuna estar en obtima condición para recibirla???
estas don mis preguntas gracias de antemano doctor
Hi Dr Halford,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question! Wow, that’s great to hear! I’m hoping it also helps to decrease shedding of the virus too.
Hopefully, in the near future we will be able to greatly benefit from the fruits for your hard labour. Always rooting for you and the success of the vaccines!
I believe those with Fibromyalgia may actually be HSV 1 or 2 because of the associated Neuralgia pain. A herpes vaccine may be able to treat Fibromyalgia. Any thoughts on this?
Dr. Halford I’ve been following your work for sone time now and my apologies in advance if this question is outlandish and I’m no scientist or anything but I was wondering what were your thoughts on Todd Riders ” DRACO ” work .
When you replied to Juggalo you said ” what fraction of HSV-1 and HSV-2-double-positive sufferers can we help whose uber-high pre-existing antibody levels may be an impediment to any therapeutic vaccination regimen? Are their tricks that can be developed to treat this more refractory group?”
My question is, on the next set of trials, will you be working on developing some of those tricks to treat double-positive cases. What if someone has only one herpes prior to treatment and then becomes double-positive at a later date after receiving theravax. I’m very interested in this as I have both HSV-1, and HSV-2 and life impacting neuralgia. Do you anticipate these people will need to be treated with a lighter dosage over more injections, or have to come up with a totally different strategy. or worse yet just out of luck. What are the complications of Uber high pre existing antibody levels. I am thinking its the HSV-1. That is the high one as when i was tested it was like over 10 times the level of the HSV-2. I know your busy so please keep working. Its more important than answering every little question.
Dr, I have a question. I have type 1 and type 2. Will Theravax work for people with both types? I don’t want to get my hopes up. I’ve gotten my hopes up so may times before thinking diet changes, supplements, and exercise would help. Thank you so much.
In regards to your response to Hopeful- what if the person had been diagnosed before the administration of your Theravax? Would it still be effective in reducing the virus?
Dear Account Killer,
Nice theoretical bullshit that is irrelevant. How many vaccines that actually work and are used in clinics were developed with this kind of thinking? Smallpox? Polio? Measles? This is the “prevailing immunological wisdom of the 2010s” that we need to dive deep into immunological gobbly-gook, but here’s the rub……more than 99.5% of the vaccines developed from such advanced immunological thinking have crashed and burned in clinical trials.
F— immunologists who are proponents for this line of bullshit. Real people want vaccines that work. Period. End of sentence.
All that matters is this. The live VZV vaccine works and has crushed chickenpox. VZV and HSV-2 share 70 of 75 genes in common and an incredibly similar latency-reactivation, neurotropic lifestyle. If a live VZV vaccine worked to crush chickenpox, then a live HSV-2 vaccine should do the same and crush all HSV-2 induced disease if it is APPROPRIATELY ATTENUATED (i.e., not too hot, not too cold….the Goldilocks principle). The same goes for HSV-1. That’s it. There is nothing more really but diving into the RELEVANT details, and my lab has done a great deal of that for the past 10 years and most of the work is already published.
Some details remain to be filled in, but 80% of the picture is complete and the important points are uber-clear: (1) live HSV-2 vaccines are 50-100x more effective than the crap glycoprotein D subunit vaccines that have been in U.S. clinical trials for 30 years; and (2) you need a polyclonal B- and T-cell response to HSV-2’s many antigens to get optimal (rapid) protection against HSV-2. Duh…kind of self-evident, but whatever. So, in principle, we know a live HSV-2 vaccine should be possible because we know a very similar, live VZV vaccine actually works (in humans), and now because of the work of my lab and now Dan Carr’s lab, we have a very clear immunological understanding of why live HSV-2 and live HSV-1 ICP0- virus vaccines are SO MUCH BETTER than the crap that Glaxo Smith Kline tested called “Herpevac” which is eerily similar to the Corridon (Admedus), Genocea, and Vical vaccines.
So, here’s my advice. Either stay in the big picture, THINK ABOUT THE IMPORTANT OVERRIDING PRINCIPLES that have yielded viral vaccines that actually work and have a proven track record in humans, and ask yourself how much TH1 versus TH2 polarization played into the development of real, life-saving vaccines. That’s the scientific version. Here’s the real-life version….stop being a putz and believing everything idiotic thought that some intellectual jerkoff commits to paper in the absence of understanding how VACCINES THAT WORK were actually developed. Too many scientists idly stroking their sticks. Not enough scientists delivering real vaccines to real people that really prevent infectious disease.
The fact that more than 99.5% of vaccine concepts have failed in clinical trials over the past 25 years should give you a clue about how not on target “prevailing wisdom” in the vaccine development community currently is. Would you hire an architect to build your house whose last 200 houses collapsed within 5 years of construction over the past 25 years? The same should be true with vaccines.
You can trust scientific principles and your own common sense, or you can trust every bit of bullshit that is committed into writing. If you don’t have enough confidence in your own understanding of the material to know the difference between shit and shinola, you should probably not be writing on this topic.
LikeLiked by 2 people
thank you again for answering this. I really do not understand why the medical community concentrates still around glycoprotein D and similar concepts ’cause it has been proven that this is one if the devilish sides of HSV to cover it’s tracks using amongst others this one certain piece of it’s shell, luring immune response on this special part and with it also the scientists (who are blind to other concepts).
In my opinion on a scale 1 to 10 Theravax atm IMHO deserves a 8/10, while Genocea’s partially effective soup I’d rate as 5/10. After phase 2/3 probably Theravax can climb to 9/10 if durable long-term positive effect is developed and maintained in vaccinated HSV sufferers.
On the other hand Profavax is probably around 10/10 effective already – possible exceptions for this one are I suppose AIDS patients and similar company?
I would give Genocea’s hype 8 out of 10, and their actual vaccine 1 out of 10…..it won’t work because it is just Herpevac all over. I think we just have to get Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine out there and really, objectively, find out how well a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine works. I have no doubt that for 50 – 70% of recipients, it will improve their quality of life in a very real way. I think the real questions revolve around (1) which HSV-2 patients will it work best for with what specific symptoms?; (2) will we need to break out Theravax^HSV-1 for HSV-1 herpes sufferers?….I suspect the answer is yes; and (3) what fraction of HSV-1 and HSV-2-double-positive sufferers can we help whose uber-high pre-existing antibody levels may be an impediment to any therapeutic vaccination regimen? Are their tricks that can be developed to treat this more refractory group?
I think a live HSV-1 or HSV-2 virus vaccine is definitely the best option for a therapeutic herpes vaccine. That said, it will just take time and research to nail down the specifics of what fraction of patients it functionally cures, and figuring out the nuances of how to handle the more difficult to treat to cases. So, be optimistic, but just remember that good research (i.e., not Genocea’s empty hype) takes time to get right and figure out why things are working the way they do.
Dear Dr Halford,
You mentioned that people who have both 1&2 hsv could be or are more refactory with potential vaccine treatment, based on antibody levels being high.
I’ve been newly diagnosed with both -at the same time!, so I am curious whether your statement would also apply to the efficacy of antivirals. My blood test results were equal for both, still having a low index number since it’s newly acquired. As the number of antibodies increase with time, will they also inccrease more quickly having both hsv’s?
Good morning Dr. Halford,
I’m a total laymen trying to understand so don’t shoot me if this is totally off base. In reference to your answer to “Juggalo” you stated that people with uber-high pre-existing antibody levels may be an impediment to the therapeutic use of the vaccine. So I’m taking that to say people with a high immune response already to the virus (but maybe with the wrong antibodies due to their genetic makeup) would possibly have little or not response. Could something like a immune checkpoint inhibitors work in combination with the vaccine for better immune system response to the vaccine? If so, would a specific inhibitor need to be created for HSV or could something already out there be used?
Hi UK Distressed,
I think this is an important but not entirely resolved question. Glycoprotein G-2 antibody capture ELISAs are the current standard of care for herpes antibody testing, but the method has serious sensitivity issues. Trying to get the HSV ABVIC test out there so we can better address the important question you raise.
If the ELISA Is a poor test, why is the Western Blot also negative in some of these cases considering the swab is positive? Doesn’t the WB look for a wider range of antigens? Could it take some people years to turn positive as has been reported by a few? Thanks
The HSV ABVIC manuscript is completed and will be submitted for publication shortly, and you can read the paper when it is published. What many blog readers forget is that 100% of my time is occupied doing research and writing that needs to be completed in order to solve these problems for the world (thru peer-reviewed science).
The blog is a kindness that I attempt to offer to provide a realistic picture of where things stand, since such information is generally lacking. I simply don’t have the time to address every layperson’s every question that stems from (1) their lack of background with the science or, far more often, (2) because the state of the published literature does not provide a clear introduction / background to laypeople to make plain where the next logical line of scientific inquiry should be heading. So please note, that this will be my final response to your query as I have other matters that require my full attention.
The bottom line is that without antiviral drugs in the picture and with a quantitative herpes serology test (ABVIC), which uses crazy things like hard numbers, thousands of replicate measurements, and statistics, then under those circumstances…..antibody seroconversion to HSV-1 or HSV-2 should not take years, but in general should take 3 to 6 weeks. Maybe there is an exception to this rule, but both gG-2 antibody capture ELISA and HSV Western blots are simply not the best possible tools for the job, and that is why I developed the HSV ABVIC test….I have been running herpes serology tests since I was a grad student in the early 1990s.
In reality, today, antivirals are used widely and that complicates seroconversion times because it should generally delay the amount of time required to acquire detectable levels of HSV-2-specific IgG, and it may create an artificially low “ceiling” on how high those HSV-2 IgG levels climb……hence delaying and complicating their detection.
The Western blot can be better than a gG-2 ELISA, but Western blots are not a quantitative test but rather are the worst kind of a test…..a visual test that relies on the subjective interpretation of a human observer. When Western blot results are clear and there are a truckload of bands in the HSV-2 lane but not in the uninfected cell lane, all is good and the results are clear. When there are no bands at all, all is good. But what if there are 2 bands that are fuzzy and indistinct in the HSV-2 lane? This is not a hypothetical….this happens all the time and the testing facility returns “HSV-2 Indeterminate” results. This is where the HSV Western blot fails, and it is because this test (and every test) has a lower limit of detection. The problem for the Western blot is that there are not 1000s of replicate measurements and there are no numerical values returned that quantify the level of “HSV-2-specific IgG antibody.” Rather, there is a human observer visualizing an equivocal result. This makes it incredibly difficult, and very fuzzy, where the lower limit of detection (+/- cutoff line) lies in the HSV Western blot. That is a big problem.
The HSV ABVIC test quantifies the level of “HSV-2-specific IgG antibody” based on 1000s of replicate measurements in a flow cytometer and that allows statistical comparison to HSV-seronegative samples, such that we may conclude the probability of this person being HSV-2-seronegative is 50% (i.e., they are HSV-2-seronegative) or the probability of this person being HSV-2-seronegative is less than 1 in a million (i.e., they are HSV-2-seropositive). This is a more scientifically precise way to test for total HSV-2-specific IgG antibody. It’s qualitative testing versus quantitative testing, and makes for a, objective and better-defined +/- cutoff line between “HSV-2 seronegative” results and “HSV-2 seropositive” results.
It’s litmus paper versus a pH meter.
So, we can come full circle to where we started. If we start using a QUANTITATIVE herpes serology test that tests for antibodies to all of HSV-2’s antigens, then we will be FOR THE FIRST TIME, using the proper scientific tool to address your question as to whether people who fail to seroconvert are:
(1) making HSV-2-specific antibodies that we are not detecting in current tests (i.e., I note that gG-2 antibody capture ELISAs are ordered by doctor far more frequently than HSV Western blots); or
(2) some individuals erroneously attribute their symptoms to a “HSV-2 infection” that they do not have, and thus they never seroconvert and never produce HSV-2-specific antibodies because their bodies do not contain the HSV-2 virus.
A third, obscure possibility..which I doubt is relevant to your question…is that a person could be infected with HSV-2 and could mount such an incredibly T-cell-biased immune response to HSV-2 that the B-cells would not produce enough IgG antibody to detect in an antibody test even after months or years. Personally, this sounds like a fairy tale to me. It is hard to imagine a patient with “herpes symptoms” (which will require significant HSV-1 or HSV-2 viral amplification) so successfully skewing the immune system away from a B-cell response that antibodies are undetectable after a year….very hard to swallow possibility 3.
So my money is on predominantly possibility 2 (patients erroneously pinning real symptoms [caused for other reasons] on “herpes”) with a decent smattering of possibility 1 of failure to detect a real HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection over time with the PREDOMINANTLY USED, and conceptually flawed, gG-1 vs gG-2 antibody capture ELISA.
Some patients infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2 may not put together antibody response that includes glycoprotein G-specific antibodies; HSV-1 and HSV-2 encode between 20 and 30 proteins that are “antibody-generating” and glycoprotein G is probably about #15 in that priority list [it is a weak antigen]…some patients may just skip it altogether and focus on more dominant HSV antigens like gB, RR-1, ICP8, VP5, VP1-2, VP22, gE, gI, gD, gC, etc.
I hope that this helps bring specificity to what I said earlier in response to your interesting question. Getting the ABVIC test out there will vastly improve our capacity to answer your question, and I am afraid that the current, qualitative techniques we have been using since 2000 are simply not up to the task.
If funding is a problem and your the man that is bringing hope then why not ask the people suffering to help fund this so you can make it happen soon. I believe I have just got this horrible virus that is ruining my life. I would have no problem doing my part to pitch in so I don’t have to live in hell the rest of my life. If a million are affected a day and those million put in $5 that’s 5 million right there. Regardless if it is released this year in another country I’m there. This is my life and I want it back, thanks to you for bringing hope. Please make this a reality very soon Dr.Halford I don’t want to suffer!
Hi Dr Halford,
Can a person infect with herpes and no symptoms and not generated antibody as the level of infection are too low which our body can’t detect.
I’m very anxiety about this because I saw some experts said some person will not generate antibody for herpes.
Dr. Halford your vaccine is greatly appreciated by all of us suffers. Many of us plan to get vaccinated ASAP but we also hope that an actual HSV cure is made down the line. Do you see a cure for HSV happening in our lifetime?
I understand there is a vaccine being developed for HSV2, but what about a cure for those infected? I was diagnosed less than a week ago and it feels like my life is over. Are their any medical advancements for a cure for genital herpes?
This is a question I’ve also had. I contracted genital herpes 3 months back, and have been debating whether to go on a daily suppressive anti-viral routine of Valtrex or not.
Dr. Halford – since you’ve studied the herpes virus in so much detail, it’d be great to get your insight. On one hand, I’m concerned that taking daily anti-virals is going to make the herpes virus resistant to anti-virals and I’d need to be going to hospital for IV foscarnet or something everytime I have an outbreak, which would be extremely annoying and draining. On the other hand, I’ve heard that taking suppressive anti-viral for first year or so prevents the virus from being able to establish any favorable sites to create lesions. After a year there would be enough antibodies, and virus would possibly just remain dormant. If not taking any anti-virals during the first year after infection, the virus will create sores and lesions at multiple sites and remember them, so then I’ll keep getting lesions on all those sites.
Is there any fact to these statements? such that I can decide whether to go on daily anti-virals or not?
Hi Dr. I have all the symptoms of HSV but am repeatably testing negative for both types. I read that sometimes people do not produce enough antibodies to fight the virus. If I were to get your vaccine would my body learn to build antibodies? I have three outbreaks each month even on daily antivirals. I’m in need of help and hoping your vaccine can benefit me. Thank you.
I have to tread lightly here because your questions are not black and white, but are more on the edge of what anyone knows. Regarding first point, I suspect that the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine would work for most people that have HSV-2 infections in more than one ganglia. Obviously, the challenge increase as (1) the scope [extent] of the HSV infection increases and as (2) the frequency of a patient’s symptoms increases from 1 to 365 days per year. No, I don’t think the vaccine would have to be administered in multiple anatomic locations to deal with a multi-ganglia infection….immunity resides in your blood and your lymph (i.e., your circulatory system) and thus it tends to circulate throughout your body and get concentrated in the places where the offending HSV proteins (what the immune system “sees” as foreign) occur in the body.
2) Regarding the association of chronic antiviral usage and neuropathy, the main thing I have gotten from talking to patients is that while the antivirals may shorten the duration of their external (visible) symptoms, almost to a person, it seems that patients with HSV-induced neuropathic pain report the antivirals do NOTHING to alleviate this pain.
Dr. Halford, thanks you what you are doing.
2 very quick questions:
1) Does the Theravax live-attenuated stain replicate in the body and then get eliminated by the immune system, or does it establish latency – periodically re-activating for life, but too weakly to cause any symptoms or risk of transmission (being attenuated)?
2) One must not take anti-virals while receiving the vaccine, in order to allow the attenuated virus to replicate and build up the immune response – but is it recommended to not take anti-virals for just long enough to get the immune response? Would a person then start taking them after the vaccination is complete, and benefit from BOTH the vaccine and the anti-virals? Or would the anti-virals suppress the latent attenuated virus from activating, reducing the immune response over time, and thus being counter-productive?
3) It would be great to get the benefit of both the vaccine and the anti-virals at the some time, post vaccination – but would this decrease the longevity of the effectiveness of the vaccine? I know many vaccines int he past have faded over time and required booster shots (with limited benefit to begin with, being weaker immune response vaccines / candidates) . . .
Could you shed some light on this?
Hello, how can I be involved in the clinical trials.
You can sign up on the RVx’s website if you are interested. You’ll be contacted when recruitment for the trials starts.
I have looked at the effect of vaccine-site delivery and in the case of a live-attenuated HSV-2 vaccine, it seems to make very little difference. This is likely because the way immune responses to HSV-2 seem to work is that (1) antibodies are the primary mediators of protection during the first 24 hours of a HSV-2 challenge and (2) that first 24 hours sets the stage to efficiently recruit T cells out of the bloodstream into whichever tissue is the site of the antibody-HSV-2 antigen interaction. Supporting 2015 paper is here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26670699
Several other labs have since provided independent corroboration that antibodies are the relevant “first-wave of defense” against HSV-1 and HSV-2. So, getting back to your question, anywhere you immunize that elicits an antibody response to HSV-2 will work.
I do not understand why you and others keep suggesting that treatments that are completely unrelated to HSV should reduce the severity of herpes symptoms. Most people want to know about the claims that the VZV vaccine cross-protects against herpes. Similar claims have been made about any number of influenza, smallpox, and other vaccinations over the decades, and yet none of these claims ever yield a viable treatment.
If we were to be logical about this, what should we conclude? Every vaccine that has ever worked in the history of medicine dating back 220 years has been ANTIGEN-SPECIFIC…..the vaccine must possess ANTIGENS (the more the better) that are shared by the pathogen (disease-causing agent) to get a protective effect.
The reason the measles vaccine (part of MMR vaccine) protects against the viral disease of MEASLES is because the measles vaccine and the pathogenic measles virus share 99% of the EXACT SAME ANTIGENS in common. Please note that receiving the measles vaccine will not help you with herpes because they share NO ANTIGENS is common. The same is true for what you are proposing and for the VZV vaccine, which share nothing in common with HSV-1 or hSV-2.
Maybe I have been studying immunology for too long, but I just don’t understand what people don’t get about this……..if you want to prevent disease caused by friggin’ HSV-2, then you probably want to use a HSV-2 vaccine that shares 99% of its ANTIGENS in common with the pathogenic HSV-2 virus.
Think about it like this: The fact that Rational Vacines is working on a preventative vaccine is evidence enough that the Theravax vaccine is not designed to control spreading of the virus but more to dial back symptoms of chronic sufferers. I imagine at best those people would be brought down to the level of people that are infected but have no symptoms.
Of course, I hope that is not the only benefit and that what actually happens is that theravax does such a good job of retraining the immune system that as well as keeping outbreaks suppressed it in turn eliminates shedding. However, everything I’ve read so far doesn’t suggest that. Again, this turns out to be the case after phase 2 trials
Preventative HSV-1 and HSV-2 vaccines would prevent future generations from getting all forms of herpetic disease.
There is no “cure” for people who currently are infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2…….they will always carry the latent virus in their peripheral nervous system. There are only better forms of management of disease. The data from RVx’s clinical trial suggest that the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine can improve the management of herpes symptoms for the majority of people relative to antiviral drugs.
I also read the study and brought it to my doctors attention. He said it made sense and suggested i try the Zostavax shingles vaccine. Zostavax is the chickenpox vaccine but 14 times stronger. i was 46 and it is not recommended for those below 50. My doctor now gives it to HSV 1 and HSV 2 patients regardless of age as he has had good feedback.
I have found it effective, it reduced my outbreaks (15 years HSV 2) by about 60%, reducing my neurological pain to almost zero and gave me alot of confidence in daily life that i would not have an outbreak. I have never taken antivirals and although i still get the occasional outbreak they are much milder and heal much quicker.
Im not saying Zostavax is miracle cure but i believe it does benefit people who take it.
Why was the study undertaken in Paris if there was no evidence of benefits from the chickenpox vaccine? Who paid for the study? I know many people who have taken the vaccine and they all agree it has helped them in many ways.
Yes there was no follow up to this paris study, but there is also no study of the benefits of shingles vaccine to those under 50, and in theory it would help under 50s for shingles as many people do get shingles in 20s 30s etc. Why are people denied a shingles vaccine below 50, just because no study has been done, why has no study been done? A 50 year old would not be any different from a 30 year old with regards to immune system and i dont believe it would be dangerous to have it below 50.
I would be happy to answer any questions from anyone about my experience.
Thank you for your information,Do you know any other people who get Zostavax have good feedback like you?Could you tell me you email so i can ask you some other questions. Thank you.
hello,STEVE,you said varivax vaccine can help patinets who has herpes suppress thesymptoms of herpes,is it ture? Where can i see the report of france reaserch. appreciate if you can reply.
FYI, I have spoken to many herpes patients who tried the chickenpox or shingles vaccines, and it did not reduce their herpes symptoms. So, I question the credibility of the French paper (published in 2012) for two reasons: (1) too many patients have reported non-results after trying and (2) varicella-zoster virus (VZV, which causes chickenpox and shingles) are antigenically unrelated viruses……..there is no good immunological reason why boosting the body’s defenses to VZV should elicit cross-protection against HSV-1 or HSV-2. Seemed like a far-fetched idea in 2012. I have not seen any credible scientific follow-up in the past 4 years to change my mind.
Very greatful for all your hard work Doctor. Do you have any advice for those of us who cannot seem to get correctly diagnosed. What do we do when igg, swabs and even Western Blot does not provide us with the information we need to obtain the vaccine?
Hi Dr. Halford. A group of us neuralgia suffers are concerned about the comments made my a trailer patient who said even though the Vax helped her greatly it in,y lasted around four months. Can you please explain this a bit more? And what us chronic pain suffers should expect that may be different for us. Thanks for all your hard work!
that is because it had only been 4 months after the third shot when the patient reported, there had not been any opportunity to observe the 5th month, but there is no reason to believe it would not continue — stop wasting Dr. Halford’s time, he’s a busy man.
In general, I agree with you…..I simply have more pressing matters to attend to than answering each and every person’s questions. That said, these are all fair questions, but the way for me to address them is to write the scientific manuscripts and bring the whole world up to speed in one fell swoop. That said, I have 2 of 4 manuscript drafts completed for 2017, am starting into the 3rd manuscript, and hope to be working on the 4th manuscript related to the St Kitts clinical trial by June 2017. Unfortunately, good science just takes longer to execute than most people suspect. I hope that the finished manuscripts, once published, answer many of the questions raised on the blog in an honest and thorough manner.
With a live-and-appropriately attenuated HSV-1 or HSV-2 vaccine, it is not necessary to get herpes on your fingers or hands or anywhere…..the live-attenuated vaccine is benign enough that it produces no symptoms and yet it still elicits a robust and protective immune response to HSV-1 or HSV-2.
Jenner is the father of vaccinology, but a lot of improvements have happened since 1798. There are no known side effects of the live HSV-1 or live HSV-2 vaccines that I am discussing on this blog.
I felt like you did a while back. You have to stay strong, and hope that there will be a vaccine soon. I’ve had this illness for 21 long years, and have been hibernating from life since then. Sometimes I think prison would be easier. At least in prison you don’t get to see what your missing. I spend at least half an hour on the internet each day looking for something to get me through the next day. Most of the time, I see a lot of optimism, and nothing seems to happen. They said a vaccine was a couple of years away 20 years ago. This vaccine I’ve known about for along time. I’ve wanted this to go ahead, and can’t understand why its taken so long. I’ve come to a conclusion that politics, money, or business has become more important than peoples health. After all why cure something if you can make more money selling medication that gives temporary relief. I congratulate Mr Halford for growing a pair, and making progress to help the sufferers of this disease. He’s trying to help us as soon as he can, and as safely as he can. Try to be positive. Negative thoughts will only stress yourself out.
Hi Felix I’m also on daily Valtrex yet it does nothing to help prevent OBs. When I first got HSV I did a lot of reading and was happy to hear most websites said how “easily Herpies can be controlled by antivirals.” ha! What a joke! This is why I’m so greatful for Dr. Halford. Without his determination so many if us would become life longer sufferers. Thank you Dr. Halford!
Ps: I’m wondering if we are all better off just going off the antivirals? I believe anyone who is getting the vaccine has to be off of them for quite awhile anyway.
Dr Hyder, please leave Dr. Halford do what he is working his ass for during the last part of his life to help others!!!!!
Dr Halford, you really are doing an outstanding job!!! Congratulations for your effort, regardless of the final results, you deserve all the RESPECTS!!!!!
And I really believe you are very close to the results that you are looking for!!!!!!
All respect and god bless you DR Halford!!!!!!!!!!!
Dear Dr Hyder,
With all due respect, I have been studying the interface between herpes simplex virus and the immune system for 25 years, and you sir do not have the faintest clue what you are talking about. The requirements for a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine cannot be so neatly summarized because the viral immunology community does not fully appreciate the underpinnings of why a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine should work. However, I now possess significant data that (1) a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine that reduces herpes symptoms is quite possible and I publicly presented this data on October 13, 2016 and (2) I am working on the manuscript that will formally write up what appears to be the real immunological explanation as to how it works.
Quit wasting my time with your inane commentary which is consistently not only off-point, but just blatantly wrong and misinformed.
Dr. Halford what would you say to someone who is suffering so bad from the physical pain of HSV that they are seriously considering suicide?
I would ask you to hang in there and have some hope that Rational Vaccines’ therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine is not that far away, and could really help dial back your symptoms. I believe that hope is worthwhile, and I would ask if you can find enough in your heart to hang on for another year.
Dr.Halford I’ve been following your research for a family member of mine and I’ve told them to apply for the clinical trial , my only question is when will the next trial be if you can answer and once an application is accepted what is the next step ?
– God Bless
Dear Ali (and the scores of others who have asked),
I will say when the next round of trials will occur only after all logistical details are nailed down. This is how it has to be. Otherwise, I am venturing into the realm of speculation with which I am uncomfortable. When I can specify dates, I will do so. In the meantime, my answer is ASAP.
Thank you Doctor! You are not just a strong, noble man, you are a god sent, All humans should strive to be like you. Thank you so much for your hard work and determination. Yes, with what you’ve said here I do believe I can hang on for one more year. Thank you for saving my life.
Hello Dr.Halford, hope you are doing well and pray for your success. I have a simple question, would getting the zostavax vaccine affect recieving the Theravax vaccine in any way ? I heard it can help with nerve pain caused by HSV. Bless you.
Dr. Halford firstly thank you for all your hard work, you are giving many people hope. I’m in the position where my body is having a very difficult time handling the virus. I get atleast two painful outbreaks a month even while on daily Valtrex, will your vaccine be safe for people with low immiune systems? Please keep up the good work, you’re a life saver to many.
I feel the same. Live alone, no family around me and since being diagnosed a month ago, hsv 1 & 2 leaves me helpless, desperate to die already, ocd clean: constantly using alcohol, disgusted to even wash the area for fear of spreading it/making it even worse. I truly hate my body now. I will die a lonely death.
I would suggest that you allow times for Rational Vaccines to get our therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine out there. I saw many borderline suicidal people in our trial feel like the vaccine gave them a new lease on life. Team RVx and I are working as fast as we can. Hope you can hang in there.
I pray it is soon. And I can only imagine there are many more patients who feel the same as I do.
Thank you gor the hope you are giving to us!
Most of the questions being asked have been answered several times. Please read past comments.
Also the petition he posted gives a lot more information, you should read and sign that also
Hi Dr. Ricardo,
Yes, the outer layer of every surface of our body is covered in a layer of dead, highly keratinized cells that cannot support the replication of any virus. If that outer layer is traumatized / abraded / broken, the cells underneath are alive and are thousands of times better at supporting HSV-1 or HSV-2 replication. So, the integrity of the epithelial layer, or lack thereof, is a huge risk factor for a primary HSV infection being much worse. So, I agree with everything that you wrote.
Dear Dr. Halford,
I read in your interview with Josh Bloom (October 2016) that you expected to make your Theravax HSV-2 vaccine available sometime in 2017, although not in the US. I know the phase 1 trial was done outside of the US to allow for accelerated human trials, with good results. Is it still your plan to make the vaccine available in 2017, in a location outside of the US?
Is there any update on when we could expect a more detailed announcement from you or the company about what is being planned in this regard?
Many thanks for all of your great work.
Dear Dr. Halford, If you’d like an anecdotal data point re: your “epithelial layer integrity” theory, my cousin at 14 years old was only lightly “grazed” by a molester. She had very intact, young skin, fought him off and did not have any sex of any kind–just got lightly touched by his genitals. Yet, she got a severe case of herpes from that light touch–with very intact skin. She had never another outbreak for 40 years!–until menopause. Now she gets some. Why would this be? Also, nowhere have you explained why a vaccine would help recurrent outbreaks —when supposedly people have already built up huge antibodies by just having the disease. Why would a vaccine do any more than people’s own bodies have already done? Actually no one has ever addressed why most viruses, like Epstein Barr, even common flu–do not recur once the person has built up enough antibodies to oust the infection. So, why would just a few viruses–like herpes–recur? What is so different about HSV from other viruses that it is more prone to recurring? Maybe that “difference” is what needs to be isolated and understood in order to have a true “cure?”
Thanks for the anecdotal story. It would be interesting to hear more such stories if blog readers have had similar anecdotal experiments……scientific observations often emerge from “anecdotes” that keep happening over and over again.
You write, “Also, nowhere have you explained why a vaccine would help recurrent outbreaks —when supposedly people have already built up huge antibodies by just having the disease. Why would a vaccine do any more than people’s own bodies have already done?”
The paper from the clinical trial remains to be written up, so I have not explicitly / formally addressed your question. However, I have made at least five posts on the blog that indirectly address your question…..perhaps you might want to read them? They are………
Regarding Item 5, if you go to pages 15 and 16 of the manuscript, there is a section entitled “i. Why should a live HSV-2 ICP0- virus vaccine help genital herpes sufferers?”
I think those materials are more than nothing, and you would have a better handle on the answer to your question if you familiarized yourself with these blog postings.
Dear doctor Bill, please note that I have a severe chronic neauropathy pain due to HSV1&2 and would like to be in your next trail at any cost. You are the only hope for so many of us the pain is stopping me from even waking at times . I have registered today for the second trail. Thanks
Eu também queria muito essas respostas amigo, e acredito que todos aqui queriam. Porém o dr. Halford relatou em alguns comentários que a theravax é apenas uma “cura funcional” ou seja, o vírus permanece no organismo porém controlado. Isso pra quem sofre de neuralgia constantes é uma vitória. Acredito que para erradicar esse vírus ainda virão muitos anos de estudo e talvez nem haja essa cura, pois com as vacinas preventivas as pessoas não mais transmitirão o vírus. Essa é a ideia principal. Porém todos nós estamos atentos a descoberta dá cura e se um dia Deus mostrar será bem vinda. Mas uma pergunta sua me chamou bastante atenção: essas doenças são causas pela herpes ??? Mas se formos analisar ninguém morre de herpes. Abraço amigo. Deus te abençoe.
Several participants in the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine trial had herpes-induced neuropathic pain that they felt as burning and/or stabbing pain in and around their anus, as well as in their lower back. Upon receipt of two or more shots of the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine, this herpes-induced pain subsided or altogether disappeared. As of 6-months post-vaccination, all people who started with herpes-induced pain indicated that the pain remained greatly lessened (i.e., now 10 or 20 minute-episodes every 3rd or 4th day instead of hours of pain per day every single day). Definitely want to get Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine out there for people with chronic herpes-induced pain, as I believe this is far more effective than antivirals or pain meds in combating this particular side effect of genital herpes.
The number of people who keep reporting these same symptoms day after day flabbergasts me. For the last 2 years since my diagnosis, these are pretty much my symptoms I feel constantly. I have never had a visual breakout on the genital area but my anus area is always inflamed however, I can never clearly see anything. Sometimes I think I see what appears to be like an anal fissure but I do not know for sure because I have never been swabbed (I was diagnosed by Western Blot after numerous low positive IGG’s). As soon as it seems to heal, it comes right back the next month, rinse and repeat. I never really put the symptoms together with my back pain until I started reading this blog and your accurate info sections from the RV website. I am confident at this point that there has to be a connection with my lower back pain. I have been to a neurologist and now trying a physical therapist but I do not feel like these specialists understand the herpetic disease. I am looking forward to trying your vaccine in the near future. I would love to have my life back not to mention my anus back =-}
Thank you and to your team for the hard work and wishing you continued success. The millions of sufferers are rooting for you!
This is incredibly encouraging information Dr. Halford, thank you! Do you believe that the virus can cause nerve damage or are the neuropathic pains we experience simply the virus reacting? I myself get burning in the entire genital area, will the vaccine help with symptoms like this? Thank you for all your hard work. You give us all hope!
Hi RealScience77, I’m sorry fir your pain. Do you have HSV 1 or 2? I also on,y get flare up feelings (burning, inflammation…) but no visible sores. I hope Dr, Halford can help us get our lives back!
Be hopeful, but please remember that I am a single scientist with a lot on his plate (3 manuscripts to write, and a review to revise), and I just don’t like being pressed. Will be happy to share info at a time that is appropriate. We all succeed by letting me do my job, which for now involves writing scientific manuscripts.
Thank you for all your hard work Dr. Halford. Please by all means take your time and try to get us the best possible vaccine you can!
Please bear in mind that I am not a fan of people who release unvetted information about RVx on Honeycomb. I am all about giving hope to people, but not false hope. When RVx has something REAL to say, we will make a Press Release. The inaccuracies posted on Honeycomb in my company’s name are staggering, and it upsets me that people think so little of my work that they would take it upon themselves to misrepresent what RVx is doing and make promises on RVx’s behalf. I would recommend that you take the latest on Honeycomb with a grain of salt, as I didn’t post the info, my business partners didn’t post the info, and the individual who did is not in a credible position to make promises about (1) a specific venue of vaccine sales, (2) a price point, or (3) a timetable for making this happen.
I am fine with hope, but I am not a fan of unsubstantiated hype.
Signed. Thank you!
Don’t use bleach. When I had my first OB, I was in my early twenties and didn’t know what was going on. It was really bad and I had just started learning about herbal medicine so I tried straight clove oil. Hurt probably as bad as bleach would! Unfortunately, for me, I even tried taking L-Lysine every day for a few months and that didn’t work either. Acyclovir subdues my OB and even keeps it at bay for several months until it stops working for whatever reason then I take a break and start on it again and it works again. So that with the occasional addition of analgesics is the only thing that works for me. I only use pharmies as a last resort, but, sadly, with this bugger the last resort is where I have finally arrived As for the itch, good ol calamine lotion still does wonders too.
Read through all the blogs and notes and comments on here, hes stated many times that theravax is coming first to help current sufferers and also will pave the way to the preventative
Hello Profesor ,
I have contracted this virus approximately a year ago. I always thought that this virus only occurred to people who were irresponsible and practiced unsafe sex, unfortunately life taught me otherwise, and I caught the virus, despite always practicing safe sex (using a condom).
That is my story that brought me here to your page. I am a graduate student so I am a heavy believer of the sciences and trust that at some point a vaccine will be made to eradicate this virus will occur at some point. Like I said I am a graduate student so I strongly believe in the sciences , so I always try to be on the lookout for any news from bio-tech companies regarding the HSV-2 virus.
This has made me to learn about other vaccines that want to treat the HSV-2 virus, (Your vaccine and Gen-003). Recently however I stumbled upon this article: http://labiotech.eu/aicuris-pritelivir-herpes-phase-ii/ . I know that you clearly believe that Gen-003 will not work (as you have stated it is based on science which has proven for over 30 years that it will not work) , however, if you have the time to read about the treatment offered in the link above, would you believe it could offer a realistic treatment for the HSV-2 Virus, if not , why ?
In addition, I know that you have established your own bio-technology company. I was wondering how you are currently getting funded ? is it through donations ? Stockholders who are seeking to profit from your vaccine ?. Have you tried to obtain government funding? (NSF , CDC)
I know that I have written a lot, so I do not expect you to answer all my questions, but if you could take the time to at least answer one I would greatly appreciate it.
Lastly, I would like to thank you for your hard work. Your work has the potential to touch upon and improve the lives of millions of people. As a young researcher myself, I believe that , that is the essence of a research, to create something whether its a vaccine or information that could be used to improve the quality of life of humanity. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. and good luck. Millions of people are rooting for you.
I’m in the same boat. That’s an interesting observation.
I thought my life was going to be so different, Growing up I was painfully shy. The typical “good girl” I worked hard to get good grades despite my learning disabilities. I was well liked by everyone but much to shy to date or even talk to boys! The past few years had been life changing for me. I worked out and started eating extremely healthy. I lost a total of 60lbs over the past 8 years. I became a very good looking young women who finally had confidence. Men started to not just notice me but “hit on” me every where I went. I got a new job which I love and started dating, I was well on my way to a happy healthy life. Having my first kiss at 31 years old is pitiful enough let alone having sex for the first time at 32 and getting chronic herpies from it. Suddenly my life came to a hault. I’ve had herpies for almost five months now. I find myself in daily pain. I’m suddenly turned back into the overweight shy girl I was in high school. I feel like everything I have worked so hard for is crashing down on me. Having herpies is not a big deal to me, but having chronic nerve pain that is causing me extreme emotional and phsyical pain is. I’m lost. I’m scared. I’m broken. Every day I pray for the vaccine, It truly is my only hope. I was well on my way to good things in life. I didn’t deserve this and neither did any of you. Please let there be a light at the end of our tunnels, please end the suffering. I want to enjoy my life, I want to have sex without there being a painful outbreak, I want to eat chocolate again, I want to live. Thank you Dr, H for all you’re doing.
Hi Snow angel, your post reflected many of the same thoughts and emotions that I experienced when I was diagnosed 2 years ago. It does get better! Over time you will develop the ability to deal with the emotional and physical aspects of the disease. After my first outbreak (which was highly severe and lasted weeks), it took my body a good solid year and a half to “recover”. The nerve pain is very very minimal now and only occurs just before an outbreak. I still get monthly outbreaks associated with my period, however, these OBs are reducing I’m duration and severity. I, too, was lied to. Prior to sex, I asked “do you have any STDs”. He replied “no.”. I got hsv2. When i confronted him, he said “my first wife had it when we me.”. My point to the story is, most people seem to contract the disease through deception – which adds to the complexity of coming to terms with the diagnosis. Every outbreak has the potential to be a reminder – the “injury” from the physical assault never heals and goes away! That being sad, over time things get better. Living with HSV forces one to be more creative and stubborn about building a life inspite of it all. I quit my job and went to design school! I’m in my 40’s. It has reinvigorated me!
Thank you so incredibly much for taking the time to write this Vitamin C! It truly guves me hope abd lifts my spirits. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
If you are a scientist than you will be familiar with the concept of “below the reliable lower limit of detection.” HIV replicates in the blood and there are millions of infectious units of HIV per ml blood in someone who is untreated. HSV-1 and HSV-2 are not in the blood, but are in your nervous system. So, reliable detection would require surgical removal of the latently infected ganglia and polymerase chain reaction for HSV-1 or HSV-2 DNA. To be safe, you would have to remove the left and right ganglia from the lower 5 segments of the spine. You would be paralyzed and numb from the waist down, but you might answer your question.
If one wishes to go the more conservative route of swabbing the skin, the amount of infectious virus shed at any point in time is 0 to 100 infectious units, with most of the time points containing zero. There is simply not enough virus for an instant antigen-based test like HIV.
Learn some virology and something about chronic viral infections vs latent viral infections, and then you will know why the idea of a home-based test for HSV-1 or HSV-2 is vanishingly unlikely.
Hi Dr, Halford. Your research on HSV is the only thing keeping me alive at this point. I was infected in Septemberr by an open sore. My giver was not honest about what it was. I’m guessing my viral load is extremely high. My blood tests are still coming back negative for both viruses. My giver claimes that he only has HSV 1. If your vaccine comes available will it benefit those of us who suffer from GHSV1? I suffer daily from intense vagina burning. My doctor put me on Amitriplyn and Valtrex but it does little. I’d love to be apart of your next trail, I have signed up on the website. I’m praying for your vaccine. Thank you so much for your help.
Dr. William Halford, Yes. Please do a TED Talk… Also Money and location is the issue with the trials. What about people like me that can pay for its own travel and cost associated with phase II. Just a humble idea. It will make it easier on you if people with the funds can be part of the trials first.
I will consider the TED Talk. I have no concerns about talking in any forum, but my time / schedule is pretty full. Nonetheless, I will consider.
Wanted to ask that if there would be any plans of measuring the viral shedding when the phase 2 will happen so you can analyse this data too as seems this was missing in phase 1 & most of the analysis were not measured by the docs rather by the patient due to which the reviewers mentioned it not a valid proof, how you have plan this work to show this to them.
you could sign my petition to get him to Congress… you will remain anonymous unless you post a reason.
Have a look at it 🙂 & thanks to Bill.
Hello WH, We have a private thread on honeycomb.click of members who are dealing with HSV neuropathy and pain. I hope you will join and share your experience as we together look for solutions to this problem. Seeker1960 as
Sign great job! Thanks for taking the initiative.
Please help us, i contracted this shit two months ago and everytime i have an outbreak it gets infected by bacteria and i have no idea why. At this rate im going to develop a resistance to antibiotics. I’m not a bad person. Im feeling helpless, doctors dont do anything or say anything. They dont care about it and act as if it was normal. Everything that ive learn about it was found online. Is it too late for trials? When do you think its going to be available?
Your type of questions are best suited for a support forum such as Honeycomb or H opportunity. You will find answers on how to best deal with you outbreaks from members. If you go to the Rvx website you can sign up for the future trials.
Nice one Niya, I signed, Please share this on all HSV support group & 200 will be in one day only 🙂 Thanks for the nice initiative.
I also am of means and in the medical profession (suffering silently). Looking for any way to expedite the amelioration of symptoms especially the neuropathy. Want to help myself and others. Please email me if there is more that I can do. Thanks for your amazing stick-to-it-ivness. You are a breath of fresh air.
I just signed the petition, “Rational Vaccines : HSV vaccination brought to United States.” I think this is important. Will you sign it too?
Here’s the link:
Cures need to have a basis in how natural systems actually function. Just because you can imagine such a cure does not mean that is truly viable. In principle, I could build a bridge across the San Francisco Bay out of hay. In fact, natural laws dictate it would collapse. Likewise, what you propose also fails to align with reality.
The fact that HSV (something that has evolved with animals for millions of years) has figured out how to con the nerve fibers to actively transport from the nerve input to the cell body (nucleus of neuronal cell) is a friggin’ miracle of nature…totally amazing. The idea that humans could wish a drug to do the same only seems feasible if you know nothing about chemistry or biology. Science is not complicated (in hindsight after decades of study), but one has to at least appreciate the realities of how natural systems work. What you propose does not recognize / align with natural laws. Men are not God….we can only observe what was created, and it takes years of study to appreciate the natural laws that dictate how everything around us actually functions.
I just read an article on the virus warfare( how viruses fight other viruses to retain dominance in your body. Research on single cell bacteria provides insight into its different defenses against other viruses and bacteria). Also, a team has had successful animal trials to treat brain cancer using gene edited salmonella….. These are interesting times.
I do hope that you continue to do your research and find some respite for sufferers. This infection victimizes because that is what the virus does, it holds you hostage. The more I read, I can’t just imagine the struggles. Keep up the good work. Recruit clinical college students who have the disease and don’t mind looking for an avenue to fight against it….
Please encourage your friend to visit the RVx site and apply for the next clinical trial. No promises on a timeline but it will be as soon as possible.
Why is neuropathy not an accepted entity in genital hsv infection? Established sites like Westover forum dismiss it. Medical professionals don’t believe herpes causes these chronic neurological symptoms. It leaves those of us who suffer despondent. You as a researcher have more insight. Why has this knowledge not spread? Will in your opinion Theravax make a big dent? Praying it does!
Most medical doctors acquire a very superficial knowledge of biology during their training that covers an incredibly wide breadth of hundreds of different biological systems (i.e., very shallow, but incredibly broad). In contrast, pointy-headed science nerds like myself acquire a very deep knowledge of biology IN ONE NARROW SPECIALITY that should, ideally, deal with virtually every aspect of what is known in an area, but that knowledge covers less than 2% of biology as a whole (i.e., very deep, but very narrowly focused).
The smart doctors who put their craft first ahead of their pride (i.e., less than 10% of the total produced) are aware enough of the nature of their initial 10 years of training to know that they will spend their entire careers learning “the 5% of medicine they really know” and learning how to recognize when patients present with symptoms that fall into the category of the 95% of medicine that is either undescribed, uncharted, or simply falls into the realm of what they (and few others) really know.
Such is the nature of why 90% of doctors say that HSV cannot cause neuralgia…..because they are not the smart doctors (or nurses) who are able to see beyond what they learned in their training. I do not fault doctors for this….it is simply not reasonable to hold every doctor (or nurse) to the standard of “you need to be a die-hard student of medicine for 50 years” so that you can anticipate every weird medical outcome that is actually possible. It would help if some medical professionals were more humble, which generally they are not because their job requires them to operate from a position of authority 95% of the time. However, if you want to know whose fault this really is, it is simple. It is the scientists. Scientists discover new knowledge and they should, as soon as is reasonably possible, codify this knowledge into medical textbooks that doctors and nurses WILL ACTUALLY LEARN DURING THEIR TRAINING. This is the nature of why HSV neuralgia is unknown…..because most “HSV experts” (molecular biology / virology nerds who know vanishingly little about the human body) don’t even know that HSV can cause neuralgia. Those people greatly influence the current writing of the textbooks nurses and doctors read about HSV during their training. If the “HSV experts” don’t know this is an issue, then it is unreasonable to expect doctors and nurses to know.
I grew up in Louisiana, in New Orleans, where there is a joke that goes….”If a man and woman in Chalmette are divorced, are they still brother and sister?” I have close family from Chalmette, so I don’t really mean this per se, but I use it as a device to introduce everyone to the idea that I am from a part of the world that is rumored to be more incestuous in nature than other parts of the world. However, let’s be clear here…..the current community of herpesvirologists is incredibly incestuous with the source of most investigators ultimately tracing back to a relatively small number of laboratories. This incestuous group of investigators tend to live in academic ivory towers and the National Institutes of Health (which might be renamed the National Institutes of Largely Irrelevant Academic Questions) has encouraged this incest in the herpesvirus field to the exclusion of remembering how the study of virology relates to human biology and medicine.
So, does HSV cause neuralgia? Yes, this should be a f—ing obvious possibility given, if nothing else, the fact that VZV (known to induce neuropathic pain when it reactivates to cause shingles) and HSV-1 / -2 share 65 out of 75 genes in common. Duh!! But, the two virology study sections of the NIH are primarily populated by molecular biologists who know a great deal about self-replicating nucleic acids, but exhibit stunning ignorance in their general knowledge of organismal biology, zoology (i.e., that which unifies all living animals), or immunology (i.e., the primary driver of infectious disease symptoms and/or viral control in the human body).
So, am I surprised that an incestuous group of narrow-minded herpesvirologists who think about herpesvirus-encoded molecules 1,000x more than they contemplate the recurrent pain symptoms suffered by millions of HSV-infected patients? Absolutely not. Pointy-headed nerds who are disinterested in the suffering of other human beings will always be pointy-headed, myopic nerds.
Am I disapponted that the National Institues of HEALTH has forgotten that their mission should include talking to the 5 million Americans who suffer with recurrent herpetic disease, and allocating some fraction of their $30 billion per year budget to addressing this MAJOR HEALTH problem in a real way? Yes. However, I have seen the pattern for 15 years as an independent investigator and I totally understand (regardless of the fact it is morally abhorrent) why human HEALTH comes up short in NIH Study Sections….at least the virology study sections. The NIH loves to give money to D-bags like Bryan Cullen at Duke (because of his academic pedigree) who will propose some ridiculous hunt to chase down some hypothetical microRNA (or whatever the fundable topic du jour is) that is completely irrelevant to patients suffering with herpetic disease. As someone who actually understands HSV biology, let’s just say it is mildly irritating that NIH study sections fall for the “academic pedigree con job” time and time again, and repeatedly fail to acknowledge the obvious when they do this crap…..the guy may have a fabulous pedigree, but he is (1) simply restating “You guys (the omnipotent NIH in their infinite wisdom) told me this was the topic du jour, so I am writing a grant on the topic du jour in the realm of herpes simplex virus, and (2) the reason the Principal Investigator can make such “bold, new claims” is that he does not know (has not published) jacks–t about HSV biology, and so his ignorance of the subject matter removes all the constraints that would prevent an expert in the field from articulating claims (hypotheses) that are simply untrue and will thus not be supported by the data that would come from funding of the grant.
The first step towards improved knowledge and more accurate information about HSV biology is for the world’s science funding organizations to develop some f—ing humility and admit that (1) they are not omnipotent; and that (2) the reductionist approach to HSV biology that was very useful in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s is no longer the rate-limiting factor; we already learned 90% of what there was to learn. The rate-limiting factor today is SYNTHESIS of the info gathered in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s such that we start stitching together a COHERENT PICTURE of how these biological systems actually function in human beings. This has been the focus of my research for nearly the entirety of my career, as this is the rate-limiting factor of the day.
But what is happening today at the NIH is that investigators who started their careers in the 1950s, 60s, 70s are re-hashing their glory days and getting the lion’s share of NIH funding (due to their now lengthy academic pedigrees) to the virtual exclusion of newer investigators who started their careers after me (i.e., people who became Assistant Professors after 2007). History informs us that most scientists make their most groundbreaking discoveries between the ages of 25 and 40. Apparently the NIH does not believe in history since the amount of $$$ going to junior scientists (i.e., within 10 years of establishing their own laboratories) is ridiculously low, which explains why very few of America’s best and brightest pursue a career in science.
If you like fear, uncertainty, and the feeling the rug may be pulled out from under you 15 years into “your training,” then yes, academic science is the career path for you!!
These junior investigators we are not supporting are precisely the people who would be most likely to update the scientific literature to reflect things like…..”Oh, HSV causes neuralgia in a significant fraction of patients, in a way that is very similar to VZV.”
So, don’t blame the doctors. Blame the NIH for allowing itself to become far more incestuous than anything I witnessed growing up and living in Louisiana for 27 years of my life. Shame on herpesvirologists (as a group) for forgetting the first and highest priority of what we were supposed to be doing with our time was…….devising treatments to reduce the human suffering caused by herpesviruses, the vast majority of which (>95%) is caused by HSV-1 and HSV-2.
If anyone doubts my words, please feel free to attend the International Herpesvirus Workshop in Summer 2017, and ask yourself two simple questions……(1) “How many of these talks or posters are relevant to human diseases caused by herpesviruses?” and (2) “How many of the clinically relevant talks or posters are presenting (a) new, promising leads to better herpes treatments vs (2) recycling the same-old ideas of the past 30 years that have yet to yield a useful treatment?”
These are the people most culpable…..the scientists who should understand that a key part of the job description of being a “herpesvirus expert” is to set aside some of their time to update (regularly) the info that is the basis for the training future doctors and nurses receive on what they need to know to best manage patients who develop or suffer from (human) herpesvirus-induced diseases. Sadly, most doctors and nurses today are still receiving a 1980s-era training on HSV’s biology and how the infection presents in patients, hence explaining the abject ignorance of the medical community in 2017 on the issue of HSV-induced neuropathic pain (akin to VZV/shingles-induced pain). Believe it or not, we learned a few things about HSV biology in the past 30 years. I think it would be a good use of herpesvirologists’ time to update the textbooks to (1) succintly and (2) accurately distill down what we know in 2017, such that future clinicians might receive early training in what they REALLY NEED TO KNOW about HSV infections as they exist in ACTUAL PATIENTS.
If I had time, I would do this myself. However, I am afraid that I don’t have this amount of time to spare, and thus focusing on preventing herpes in future generations via effective HSV vaccines will remain my primary focus until I am convinced that clear movement in that direction is a high priority for the biomedical research community.
Thank you Niya. Sounds like a good start to me.
thank you for all your hard work! i applied for the second round of trials. looking forward to it.
Bill, just a curious question. Can you be infected with hsv-2 and have it stay dormant inside of you for years and suddenly get OB after OB? I am trying to get a better idea of where I picked this little bugger from.
Yes, I have come across this phenomenon many times, where people live with HSV-2 for years with little to no symptoms, and then a precipitating nerve injury or profound immunosuppression causes the host to lose control of the virus, hence ushering in a new readout of back-to-back outbreaks every 2 to 4 weeks.
Hallo sir i have herpes since2000 that time i take medicines after 8 year’s my problem repeated that time also i use aciclovir800mg now my problem repeat is there any cure permanently… please tell meci have 4 child may be they are also have these problem please sir give me any solution if any vaccine coming soon…gen-003 vaccine coming earlier next year or take time
The approximately $69,000 in donations I have received to date have been very helpful in terms of giving me flexibility to accomplish a lot of important background work (e.g., mouse experiments; vaccine formulation refinement; development of complementing cell lines; publication and presentation of said results). Also, it helps remind my academic colleagues that herpes is a real disease that afflicts real people; hence the donations which are visible proof of the level of suffering that is out there.
That said, individual donations are less of a rate-limiting factor than my time. I have one review and three original studies to write up for publication (including the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine trial), and so my time is largely accounted for over the next 6 months. I will post on the blog as each publication comes out, and there will likely be multiple other RVx press releases over the next 6 months.
Good day Dr Halford.
Are you able to comment on how the therapeutic vaccine will be tested? Will there be herpes-free volunteers willing to risk exposure to the wild virus after having received the attenuated version as vaccine?
I hope you’re doing well! Viewing your responses brings happiness to my life as I know you, our savior (how dorky I say that haha) are doing well!
Question; I know it’s a bit premature to answer this question but maybe you could speculate or provide an educated guess. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say we received the full amount of shots required to build a very strong immune response to the infection. Can we live a life without worrying about not getting enough sleep, drinking a bit too much etc ?would these actions offset the positive effects of the vaccine?
Let me try to illustrate:
Lets say “0” represents the virus and “=” represents our immune system.
without the vaccine ;
00000==== <—– no sleep consecutively/alcohol/stressed (4 "="s vs 5 "0"s where the virus wins the battle here and causes an OB and shedding.
*0000===== <—- on a normal day with no OB's (5 "="s vs 4 "0"s) but there are enough virus activity to asymptomatically spread the disease but not enough for an OB.
With the vaccine;
1 shot 000=======
2 shots 00========
3 shots 0========= (functionally cured)
What would you think would happen if we received 3 shots and went through a period of no sleep, lots of stress, drinking… Would these actions suppress our immune system so that the virus would have a chance to multiply?
would your immune system go from this
*0000==== enough to shed and possibly infect someone else?
I'm sure I could have explained this without the illustration but, I like it 🙂
A savior I am not, and I have no desire to compete with God or his kids. What I am is someone who is serious about bringing REAL HSV-2 vaccine science to people. As we approach the year 2017, I am utterly disenchanted with / disgusted by all the science zealots who keep blathering on about HSV-2 subunit vaccines (e.g., Genocea GEN-003, Admedus COR-1, and Vical Vaxfectin) when all of their technologies are eerily similar to the same gD-2 subunit vaccine garbage that has been failing since the late 1980s. Call me crazy, but any scientific approach that has a 30-year history of failure sounds a bit suspect to me. It does not matter if you call it “Herpevac” or “GEN-003,” it is still based on the same lame, 40-year-old premise that a herpes glycoprotein subunit vaccine “should be” effective.
So, let’s be clear….I am just a herpes immunologist and this is what I deserved to be called; no hyperbole required. Likewise, all of the people peddling GEN-003, Vaxfectin, and COR-1 are either (1) pseudo-scientists, (2) snake-oil salesmen, or (3) both, and this is what they deserved to be called until they cay PROVE that their latest iteration of the gD-vaccine concept is at least 10-fold better than the dozen prior iterations of gD vaccines that have failed to prevent herpetic disease in human clinical trial (1990) after trial (1994) after trial (1997) after trial (1999) after trial (2002) after trial (2012). Let’s quit wasting time on a herpes vaccine concept that has been consistently lame since I graduated high school in 1986. Three decades of bullshit and wasted time is enough.
A real HSV-2 vaccine will be based on the different (superior) approach of a live HSV-2 virus that is appropriately attenuated.
From my understanding all HSV-2 subunit vaccine trials demonstrate short term marginal shedding effectiveness. One clinical research physician that has participated in these trials said “they are playing games with shedding rates with respect to the timing of vaccination”. While these companies are receiving headlines and funding, it will not last much longer.
Best wishes for your success and health!
Well that’s how I feel, like herpes constantly aggravating my immune system. I never had outbreak, discovered that I have HSV 2 only because I had prolonged fatigue, joint, muscle pain, and all symptoms started after unprotected sex. After that I tested for all STDs and came positive for HSV2. Since than sometimes i get fatigue and fever that can last for months.
Doctors dont believe me that my symptoms are caused by HSV2, but I really believe it is. I never had cold in my life and i think its just how my immune system is wired, but now keep over reacting to the HSV2. I really hope we will have vaccine soon.
100% agreed on this point….“… the virus will just sit there doing very little, but what we’ve discovered, it’s doing a little bit more than nothing.”
I have been noting the same since 1996 in these publications…..https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9375008 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8871654
The basic concept that all herpesviruses (including HSV-1 and HSV-2) establish persistent infections that exist in an equilibrium with the immune system (that is called latency) is reviewed here….http://rationalvaccines.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Viruses-and-Interferon-Ch5-color-Figs-1.pdf
There is nothing new under the sun here…..the original publication that set the stage for this view of HSV-1 latency / persistence was published in 1953….https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13073293
Funny how scientists keep re-discovering the same thing over and over. That said, David Tscharke is a very talented scientist and I am sure that his new publication likely adds some new wrinkles/new details to this old story.
Thank you for the reply Dr. Halford. I am trying to make good progress reviewing the video slides and various other downloads on the RVx website this week and there’s a considerable amount to absorb. What resonated today, while listening to one of the recordings, was that you regarded HSV-latency as a constant equilibrium between immunity and pathogen, hence my providing the David Tscharke link. In addition, you also mentioned the surrounding cluster of CD8 cells, suggesting that the virus is not latent.
Incidentally, I strongly recommend the various downloads on RVx’s website to other fellow participants on this site, as the data are particularly helpful in regard to the clinical findings during the initial trial, if not for many other points of note.
The concept of perpetual viral activity is something that some of us have perhaps concluded ourselves, during the course of our suffering and our own research, despite our MDs telling us that “it doesn’t sound like herpes at all”. The sooner this information can get out into the mainstream the better.
I think we are looking at an important redefinition of the term “Post-herpetic neuralgia” and that more appropriately it might be called “Herpetic Neuralgia”. All the best, Jim
I wholeheartedly agree. Doctors need to start working with information about herpes from the 21st century, and quit relying on the outdated bullshit they were spoon fed in the 1970s. The 70s will forever be the heyday of disco, but not of herpes information. So many strong convictions were expressed about herpes in the 1970s and 80s based on little to no real data, and yet these ignorant (misinformed) viewpoints are what doctors predominantly learn today. In the 1970s, many researchers fervently believed HSV-2 was the cause of cervical cancer. Nice hypothesis, but it was dead wrong….cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus, not HSV-2.
And so it goes. Why do all doctors assume that only HSV-2 causes recurrent genital herpes…..because this is the story they told each other in the 1970s. Except, again, it is not true…..HSV-1 can cause recurrent genital herpes and neonatal herpes just as much as HSV-2…but don’t tell that to your doctor, because a textbook told them something different.
Time to bring doctors into the 21st century when it comes to what they learn about herpes.
Hi Dr. Halford,
Will the vaccine be available for those people who are suffering from HSV-1? Pls let me know and thank you for you great work. I wish you all the best and success.
Hi Joe Frank,
In principle, yes, you can invest in Rational Vaccines. You can find the email address at this webpage regarding investor inquiries: http://rationalvaccines.com/contact
The caveat is at this phase of RVx’s development, is that we can only accept investment from “Accredited Investors,” which overly simplistically boils down to people who have (1) in excess of $1 million in assets laying around not including the value of their house, retirement plans, or other such non-liquid assets or (2) people who make a salary in excess of $300,000 per year.
So, I could not invest in my own company, and I suspect that most people that follow this blog are not part of the 1% who qualify as Accredited Investors.
Hope that clarifies things.
Hello, I received my positive diagnosis for HSV1 when I was 14, & HSV2 last night. I have never had an outbreak that didn’t resemble a cold sore. You can imagine how distraught I am. Though I study science and bio at a university, this stigma has been hard wired even within myself.
What can we do to endorse the CDC and WHO to increase accurate education? Also, the Accredited investors you need for research, who are some of the companies and how can I contact them to publicly appeal to them? From what my own lab mentor has told me, most research is funded by the government. Thank you for your time and being proactive. You have my support whole heartedly. Anything I can do discretely, even at my own university, please let me know.
Thanks once again for taking the time to give such an informative reply. Has definitely swayed my opinion.
Hi Halford Fan,
I would caution that circumcision, to remove the foreskin where outbreaks are occurring comes with risks that most MDs will not appreciate. It is well known amongst HSV biologists that severing the nerve endings that are latently infected with HSV causes the latent virus to freak out and may send a perpetual reactivation stimulus. So, there is the potential for your genital herpes to (1) move to a different site and (2) worsen in causing larger crops of lesions that re-occur more frequently. I cite a few publications below that articulate / underscore the principle that the “circumcision as a way to treat herpes” story is not well founded on solid science. From my perspective, the approach would appeal to a surgeon (a cutter), but does not make a great deal of sense from the perspective of someone who understands HSV biology.
Limited effect of circumcision on reducing one’s risk of herpes:
Messing with nerves that harbor latent HSV has risks:
8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1919032/ (see pages 788 – 790)
Doctors are doomed to repeat the same mistakes of the past if we do not educate them that (1) latent HSV infections live in peripheral nerve fibers and (2) there is a long medical history of “poking the bear” by severing or damaging HSV latently infected neurons, which oftens leads to severe herpes outbreaks thereafter.
Would surgery on lumbar discs be poking the bear for someone whose lesions appear on right butt cheek?
Possibly, but surgery on lumber discs is not probably an optional procedure and may be important for your quality of life if you are asking. I would leave a decision like this between you and a doctor / surgeon you trust. In contrast, my original response was in regard to circumcision which is a purely elective procedure that is not impact anything as critical as walking, mobility, and/or chronic back pain.
Halford Fan,. When I was doing research last year on HSV (I’ve had it for 3.5 years). I came across some journal articles from the 70:s summarizing the results of surgically removing the skin where the HSV reoccured. This didn’t work. The sores developed again.
Hi Vitamin C,
If you explored the topic in herpes forums, I bet there is a good chance you would find someone who said, “Tried it. Bad idea.”
Same here Kam. I never knew something could effect my nervous system like it has. I have had HSV-1 of the mouth since my early teens which has never been a problem. Outbreaks maybe once a year. Now 39, since I tested positive for HSV2 last year I get these outbreaks pretty much 2 to 3 times a month on my tailbone. As soon as it feels like its healed it comes right back the next week week or two. The pain of the outbreak is not as bad as the state of influx my nerves are in constantly. My entire right side from the foot up to the shoulder. This is a constant feeling I have pretty much daily. I’ve yet to try antivirals because I dont trust doctors knowledge of HSV.
I like most will be on the first plane to whatever destination Theravax vaccine will be offered.
You are fortunate to be able to fly out to receive the vaccine when it’s available,
I don’t think I can afford to go out of the country for the vaccine, which is very disheartening. Professor Bill Halford, did recommend those who cannot afford to travel, (which I copied and pasted from his words), to please consider contacting your senators or representatives in the U.S. Congress and ask them the following series of questions, or questions that follow this line of reasoning:
“Why is the best HSV treatment in the world, developed in the USA, not more readily available for Americans to benefit from at home?”
“Why is a live-attenuated HSV vaccine that was developed with dollars provided by U.S. taxpayers not more readily accessible to Americans?”
“Why does an American vaccine developed by an American scientist have to leave the USA to be offered to Americans who then have to travel outside their own country to receive a treatment that they need?”
I am happy to help bring the technology forward to the world. However, it is up to Americans who suffer with chronic herpetic disease to lean on their representatives in the U.S. Congress and ask them to re-evaluate whether current U.S. laws and regulations in the space of vaccine development really serve the interests of the American people.
I would suggest that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” More specifically, the status quo of how vaccines are developed in the USA today came to be through a combination of (1) inertia and neglect by lawmakers and the FDA and (2) Big Pharma companies who exploited these rules to reinforce their monopoly on the sale & development of biologics in the USA. As we all know, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry has gotten quite comfortable in the past 20 years with extorting fabulous sums of money out of the U.S. government and private citizens in the USA, who pay far more per capita for their drugs / biologics than the citizens of any other country on the face of the Earth.
It is time for today’s lawmakers in the USA to reconsider the current rules that would lead an American scientist, funded by the American taxpayers, to take his invention to a nation outside the USA because the U.S. landscape for vaccine development is simply that regressive and prohibitively expensive in terms of dollars and time. The fact that there is now overwhelming evidence in support of the safety and effectiveness of a live HSV ICP0- mutant vaccine apparently is irrelevant; there is simply no viable path forward for an effective herpes vaccine in the USA. The U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Congress alone, has the power to change the legal landscape and restore the USA to its former status as a country capable of developing life-saving and/or live-improving vaccines. It is up to Americans who have suffered with chronic herpetic disease to demand a change, and demand that this disease finally be addressed (1) at home in the USA and (2) friggin’ ASAP. – Bill H.
I couldn’t help to paste all of it due to its importance.
CJ, I found it interesting that you mentioned your tailbone, the virus travels up nerve pathways and rests at the base of the spine (tailbone), where it remains “dormant” (We wish for)! When the virus is triggered or reactivated,(seemly all the time), it travels down the nerve pathways. My nerve pain shows up mainly on my left side, the tailbone, buttocks, hip, thigh, and even my foot at times, it used to show up before my breakout, so I had an indication the herpes virus was reactivated and coming!, but now things have stepped up, my nerve pain is sticking around regardless of an outbreak or not. when one area is just starting to go away (3 to 4 days), another area begins. Also, I calculated I have about 24 plus breakouts a year. I made it a habit to journal or keep a track record, it will be 2 yrs next month. I am a calm laid back person, I don’t have a stressful life, I’m aware of food triggers, I eat a healthy plant-base diet, so what I’m getting at is, I’m not a stressed out, fast paced, anxious individual, that eats a poor diet, which greatly risk the chances of awakening the “beast”, yet’, here I am, multiple breakouts, why?? I stopped taking the 1000mg of Veltrex, didn’t help much and hard on my liver and didn’t do anything for the nerve pain, not even 800mg of ibuprofen, I even tried a sunburn gel with Aloe Vera in hopes of relief, it didn’t work and very painful to apply, that’s how desperate.
My concern is, even after the vaccine, will the nerve pain still be there?, I’m scared about this. I was relieved to find I’m not alone with experiencing nerve pain, I originally thought it was the result of having shingles at the same time of my initial hellish HV breakout, that it had done the damage, after all they are in the same family. The pain of my outbreaks varies each time, never pleasant that’s for sure.
It’s about time this silent epidemic is eradicated once and for all, it has been around way, way, way too long. So grateful for all those working diligently on our behalf for a cure/vaccine to put this beast asleep forever!”
Kam, wow, I’m blown away about how similar our symptoms are. I just like you try to live a fit and healthy life. I have yet to identify any triggers because now it just seems to be constant symptoms all the time mostly related to nerves. I also find that I am light head (brain fog) more these days and I am convinced there is a connection somewhere.
It will be coming up on 2 years for me in June 2017. Another thing that has really bothered me about all this and what gives me hope is that there are others suffering these neuralgia symptoms. It’s impossible to talk to medical professionals if they have no accurate data to go on and are not educated. If you would like to connect sometime to discuss let me know. I could sure use the support from someone who understands what I’m going through. Obviously I have kept the diagnosis a secret to most, but explaining the symptoms when you can’t reveal the source gets me so frustrated sometimes.
Getting back to what Dr Halford is doing. If I am lucky enough to fly to where the vaccine will be available I will be doing my part upon my return to the millions that are suffering by spreading the word to people, to doctors and to congress through forums and social media. The pain and suffering we face physically and emotionally should be heard, not muted. I also worry if we have permanent nerve damage or not. I guess time will tell especially if the vaccine is made available in the near future.
As the symptoms have persisted over the past year and half for me I have grown away from realization that one day I could say I didn’t have HSV (as some people hope for this), I am more concerned now with just living a life that symptom of this virus. That in the end would make me happy and restore my lust for life.
I thought I may have gotten HSV-2 when I was in high school when I was dating this one girl. It has been over 30 years now and I think I have having my first break out. Is this possible?
Both. It is what it is and we have to accept the fact that we have this virus for life. It integrates into our DNA and essentially makes us all GMOs in the same way that the chicken pox virus does. But the more I learn about viruses, the more I realize that viruses have always co-evolved with humans and have even contributed to some important evolutionary developments. According to Johns Hopkins “50 percent to 80 percent of U.S. adults have oral herpes. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 90 percent of adults have been exposed to the virus by age 50.” So this means that people with herpes are in the majority anyway even though most want to forget they have it. I seem to go through periods where I experience symptoms of some sort or other every day for weeks at a time, then they go away for a while, then they’re back. There is also a correlation between frequency of symptoms and viral shedding frequency. So, although I am really hopeful that a therapeutic vaccine might reduce my PITA HSV-2 symptoms, even more importantly I am hoping this therapeutic vaccine could also reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to someone I care about. This treatment could also help prevent parents who get cold sores from passing the virus on to their children. And that’s just the therapeutic vaccine. Then there’s the prophylactic vaccine that could offer a viable level of protection for people not yet infected. Nothing works 100% of the time, but I am excited about how well this therapy has worked on animal models as well as the positive responses reported by the people who participated in the pilot study. So, I will always feel a moral obligation to give people the heads up that I have it, but I am hoping that if and when the vaccines are released, if we both have had our herpes shots that it will not be such a big deal.
We, the infected will never be completely cured or what I assume you mean (virus being completely eradicated) unfortunately the virus is hidden in our nerve ganglia where our immune system can’t get to. However, we can be functionally cured which is Dr. Halford’s goal. It will be in our system not able to cause symptoms or be passed on (eliminate viral shedding). Think of the chicken pox virus and other viruses that we bump into that hide in our bodies and don’t really do anything but can’t be eradicated.
A functional cure would be the next best thing. Correct me if I’m wrong Halford?
Yes, you are correct. I do understand the appeal of Crispr/Cas9, which is that in theory that people who are infected with HIV and herpes simplex virus may (it is hoped) entirely remove the virus from their body. In practice, that has never happened once in a human being or an experimental animal model, and the basic constraints of pharmacology suggest that this is a long shot to ever work.
So, then, what can be reasonably achieved? The available evidence suggests either (1) radically better antiviral drugs (possible, but yet to reach the market) or (2) a therapeutic HSV vaccine that does exactly what Mark says….gets the adaptive immune response to HSV back in the game for people who have recurrent herpes symptoms that are off the hook (i.e., more than 6 outbreaks per year).
What is unique to vaccines is the ability to prevent disease before it occurs. If we could magically vaccinate everyone in the world who does not have genital herpes with a highly effective live HSV vaccine (which is what RVx has), then the transmission of genital herpes to new persons would effectively cease, and in 20 years, people under the age of 35 would have never of heard of herpes in their peer group.
So, yes (1) a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine is a practical and immediately achievable way to reduce herpes symptoms in those people for whom acyclovir and valtrex are ineffective and (2) a prophylactic HSV-2 vaccine is a way to protect the other half of a herpes-discordant couple such that there never needs to be the fear of intimacy, because the prophylactic vaccinated person will have pre-existing immunity to HSV-2 (and likely HSV-1) that will negate the risk of acquiring genital herpes.
That’s the long answer. Short answer…..yes Mark, what you said.
For the first couple years I was getting outbreak after outbreak. I went on 6 months suppression therapy and had one outbreak and nothing for 6 months. I went out lastnight to celebrate a friends graduation and had consumed alcohol and woke up this morning with an OB. Wow, just when I was feeling like they were gone forever they had to pop up their little heads.
I am feeling so depressed 😦
Hi William,. I have had similar challenges with OBs since contracting HSV2 over 3 years ago and I don’t want to use Valtrex daily. I found two things helpful:
1. Intravenous Vitamin C. I did this monthly a few times as well as an intramuscular injection of Lysine
2. I also let an outbreak go rather than using Valtrex. I watched the OB carefully to make sure it didn’t get out of hand – it finally resolved in 14 days. I kinda regard OBs as an opportunity to build antibodies
I continue to get OBs with my period but they are less severe and not back to back anymore. Sometimes I use Valtrex if I’m too “tired” to deal with the OB.
I also take Seriphos on a regular basis to reduce cortisol.
You should also get your iron levels checked. Low levels can be associated with frequent OB.
Oral vitamin C and lysine nevered for me but the intravenous dose did.
Dr. H. Firstly, way to go! Your devotion to finding a vaccine is and will be appreciated by millions world wide. My question: is there a greater risk of lumbar fusion surgery for someone with HSV2?
In experimental animals, the site of injection of the vaccine is relatively unimportant, and almost all vaccination sites I have tested in mice (nose, eye, vagina, footpad) work equally well. There are some very minor benefits to local immunity (i.e., immunizing the vaginal mucosa to optimize protection at the vaginal mucosa), but minor is the key word. The only immunization site I have tried in mice that does not work well is the peritoneum, which basically informs me that I need to apply the live HSV-2 vaccine to cells that it may efficiently infect and replicate within……basically anywhere in the epithelium from the head to the toe. So, bottom line, the protection is systemic in nature.
Regarding neurons, if you apply a live HSV-1 or HSV-2 vaccine in the epithelium, it will reach the neurons of the innervating ganglia…..mutation of the ICP0 protein does not alter this aspect of the biology of the virus. The same is true with the VZV Oka vaccine…..it elicits a durable immune response because it establishes a latent infection in the peripheral nervous system of vaccine recipients. This is a published fact, and is widely known amongst biologists who study varicella-zoster virus.
Regarding durability, this is a critical question that the vast majority of vaccine scientists do not fully appreciate. This is where (aside from all the other crap that is wrong with gD-2 subunit vaccines) subunit vaccines fall hopelessly flat on their face. I am not going into the details here for RVx propietary reasons, but what I can say is that:
1) If one attempts to rationally engineer a live HSV-2 vaccine, the vast majority of mutations will not allow a durable immune response to occur (e.g., ACAM-529; Einstein vaccine; HSV-2 tk- mutants; AuRx vaccine). Basically, if you disrupt the establishment of HSV-2 latency in neurons and subclinical reactivation with your mutation, you will not get a durable immune response.
2) HSV-2 ICP0- mutants may be, via the right mutations, engineered to give you a durable immune response which is how I came to choose this target 10 years ago. It is not trivial even in the ICP0 gene…..some mutations give you durable immunity and others do not. I worked all of this out in 2007 – 2009, and the paper (Halford, et al, 2010) was published 6 years ago.
So, Tinker, great question….very important. You are far ahead of the curve of most vaccine scientists whose HSV-2 vaccines of the past 30 years fail to adequately consider what is required for (1) not only a protective immune response in the short term (6 months post-vaccination) but also (2) a durable immune response that will last a human lifetime.
Welcome to my world……I thought through all of these details between 2006 and 2010, and now I am waiting for herpes vaccine scientists to catch up. One day.
I couldn’t figure out how to post an original comment, so I’m replying to this one…I assure you that for every person you hear from on this blog, there are a hundred thousand that you don’t hear from. Know that you are inspiring and giving hope to literally millions of people. And I’m sure there are hundreds of thousands, like me, who can’t wait to see ongoing positive Theravax results, and also can’t wait to buy it from Rational Vaccines. There aren’t many people who can say that their work could, and hopefully will, change the world. Keep up the good work, sir.
Hi Bill, your research and upcoming human clinical studies for live attenuated HSV vaccines is really exciting and ground breaking. Naturally, I hope and pray for your success with this mission.
I realize you are busy, but if you have time….
There is one question in my mind regarding any HSV Vaccine development that keeps hounding me, and wonder if you can help me better understand in a reply. There is probably a very simple answer, and I do have theories as to what the answer might be, I just want to be assured that I understand this and so remove doubt from my mind.
The lead up to the question, and the question itself, is as follows:
Regarding HSV-2 in particular… When any person is infected with a live wild type HSV-2 they will most likely get an initial outbreak, and repeated outbreaks afterwards. Then, depending on the individual certain things will likely happen…
1) Some healthy HSV-2 infected individuals will have outbreaks that become less frequent over time until finally at some point (within years) outbreaks will be pretty much controlled by one’s immune system – which is the best one could hope for, short of a cure or functional cure, although shedding will still occurr.
2) Other healthy HSV-2 infected individuals will have recurrent outbreaks for life that are more frequent. And with some persons, far more frequent.
As well, if a person is infected with HSV-2 in one part of the body, that does not necessarily give them entire immunity from becoming infected with HSV-2 in other parts of the body.
My question is…
How will being vaccinated with your HSV-2 ICP0 produce an immunity response that is so different from the wild type HSV-2 in the individual’s body as to cause total whole body lifetime immunity and without shedding?…
In other words, if being infected with the real thing (the wild type HSV-2) does not cause the victim to develop a life long whole body immunity to future HSV-2 outbreaks, or infection to other parts of the body, or from shedding, why do you believe the HSV-2 ICP0 mutant will accomplish what the wild-type HSV-2 failed to do? ….
So, to sum up… why would a person’s immune system work so differently with HSV-2 ICP0 (creating life-long whole body immunity without shedding) then it does with the wild type HSV-2 (causes recurrent outbreaks, not fully preventing infection to other parts of the body, continued shedding)?
I want to learn why this is the case.
Thank you Bill.
I think I can offer a simpler and more accurate interpretation, as follows. The data suggest that the HSV-2 vaccine we are currently testing might reduce the symptoms of all forms of herpetic disease driven by HSV-1 or HSV-2 (e.g., ocular herpes, oral herpes, whitlow, or genital herpes). Likewise, in the context of a preventative vaccine, the prophylactic HSV-2 vaccine delivered to children (along with other childhood vaccinations) would likely protect against all forms of herpes.
Hence, the separate line of HSV-1 vaccines might not be necessary at all. However, what I offer is a hypothesis (possible interpretation) based on only limited human data. The real answers will emerge in subsequent clinical trials with hundreds of people. So, the first trial is great and says we are on a new path that leads (for the first time) to the global eradication of herpes. However, the specific details of how best to get there will require subsequent trials, shedding studies, ocular herpes trials, oral herpes trials, etc., etc, etc until we have all of the answers.
Thank you hopefully you’ll have room for me. I already applied.
The person Guess said that they applied. Is there somewhere I can go and apply also ?
‘Hope this is one day true
I noticed on the final blog entry that Dr. Bill will not be very active in replies in the coming months, due to analyzing data and the work that they need to do to hopefully make this available.
On a more personal note, I have had HSV2 for over 20 years. Healthy lifestyle, no smoking, rarely drinking, etc. For myself, I’ve noticed if I am under loads of emotional stress (i.e. prior to my father dying…months of running around, family conflict, etc) I had/have outbreaks every couple of weeks. It would barely be healed and breakout again. For me, finding a way to control my stress has been key to less breakouts. I still get them every couple of months but that’s a heck of a lot better than weekly and bi-weekly. Best of luck, hope this is of some assistance for you.
Thanks for your advice. I can’t seem to identify what’s the trigger for me. I can go on a holiday, and out of no where, it recurs. Same as you, even before the previous episode fully recovers, the next one appear right after it. When all are fully recovers, it re-appear again after 3 days of peace. Currently, i’m trying Lysine + Vitamin C, but still, doesn’t seem to work. The only help so far is to take in Valtrex tablet once a day, but i’m afraid that it may damage my kidney/liver over time.
Yes, stay tuned to this channel and you will know when this comes to pass.
Is there a chance of meningitis or other adverse outcomes during the trials ? I’m in Sydney Australia… any trials of your work happening this way ?
Once you have invested 10 years (2006 – 2016) arriving at (1) the correct, propietary HSV-2 mutant and (2) the propietary technology to manufacture it, no, it is not hard. In other words, if you discount the 10 years invested into solving the problem, then, no it is no longer hard to solve the problem once it has been solved.
There is no paper that describes how to make the “secret sauce”……that is what propietary means. Regarding a paper that describes how the HSV-2 ICP0- mutant viruses were constructed, that is here………https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20808928
I would like to be considered for your next clinical trials. Would you mind letting me know when you start recruiting. I am a supporter of your work.
I know that Gen-003 is seeing some positive results, I read somewhere 60% reduction. in viral shedding. Would having the Gen-003 vaccine preclude someone from having the the theravax vaccine.
I have not had any vaccines, but I am curious about both treatments.
My thoughts on GEN-003………..https://liveherpesvaccine.com/2016/09/30/gen-003-yet-more-dragon-slaying-research/
Another quick question: What are your thoughts about the potential delta-gD-2 vaccine? They have seen some promising results in lab rats, through gene deletion.
Any news on a time line for more clinical trials? Have passport- will travel. :).
Answered this before here……..https://liveherpesvaccine.com/2016/04/10/on-the-einstein-vaccine/
Dr. Halford please let me know were I have to go to be apart of the clinical trails
Will do. RVx is initiating the planning phase of another trial. It will take until the end of the year just to set up infrastructure, but when we are getting closer, as has been true for the past year, I will post relevant updates here on the blog.
On the Einstein vaccine…….https://liveherpesvaccine.com/2016/04/10/on-the-einstein-vaccine/
This is similar in principle to the replication-defective HSV-2 ACAM-529 vaccine (Sanofi Pasteur) and the DISC vaccines that were developed in the late 1990s. Repication-defective HSV-2 vaccine = overattenuated vaccine = unable to elicit durable (life-long) protective immunity.
As I said in earlier posts, I am returning to science mode and focusing on completing / writing up several studies. Please do not wait by your computer for a reply.
At least people are talking about it
I think you have lifted many of us up with that story, especially the hope and optimism. Thank you. I’m suffering persistent nerve pain during the past month or so, but I almost feel better already, as I can tell it must have been a weight off your shoulders! Best of luck to you Felix. I second what you say about Dr. Halford… Jim.
Dr. Halford- I hope your vaccine is an amazing success. I thought it was slated for 10-13 but I will wait. I am one half of a discordant couple and admit I refuse to risk the pain of HSV2. I have HSV1 orally and it is excrutiating for me when I have had a sore on my lip. 3 wks to heal and so painful. I love her, Bill. I am selfish. I will risk emotional pain but even 1 in a thousand is too high for me. If you need a volunteer for safety trials on a mutant vax, I will fly to you if you need a person to take the shots.
If it all goes perfectly, when will the profavax preventative vaccine be available?
Reasonable question, which I will address in late October. You assume that I plan to play by the rules of the regressive US FDA. However, 95% of the world does not live under the FDA’s jurisdiction. I will focus on eradicating herpes outside of the USA, and later on the FDA can figure out whether or not U.S. citizens should have access to the vaccine without having to hop on a plane or a cruise ship (i.e., international law takes precedence 12 nautical miles offshore of Miami or Los Angeles). Not planning to wait 10 years to run clinical trials or start sales.
If this seems outlandish, please remember that the live VZV Oka vaccine that has effectively started eradicating chickenpox was first described in Japan in 1974, used in the Japanese population for 15 years, and only then did Merck purchase, and bring back to the USA, with deployment finally starting in 1995.
Uber did not succeed by playing by Yellow Cab’s rules, and RVx does not plan to succeed by playing by the FDA’s rules that only apply to 5% of the world’s population. It’s up to you whether or not you are willing to travel, and I am perfectly happy to start eradicating herpes in South America rather than North America.
– Bill H.
All very positive and thank you as ever for being prepared to fight this crappy system. It’s however slightly depressing for those of us in Northern Europe what with the phenomenal costs involved in potentially three trips to get the vaccine in South America. Of course we understand that the blame for this lies with short sited administrations.
I guess it’s too much to expect at this stage but is there any likelihood of any European countries jumping on board or is it as I suspect… they will follow the footsteps of the FDA?
I expect many countries to hop on board, but I am not clairvoyant and simply lack the required information to predict the order (progression) of countries in which RVx will get traction. Here are a few simple facts to consider. The FDA is reticent to grant permission for any clinical trial of any biologic in the 2010s, which is why Merck, Glaxo, Novartis, etc routinely run their first human clinical trials in Eastern Europe, India, China, Mexico, etc., and then bring the final data set back to the USA. It is lame, but the high costs of litigation and the overly litigious society that occupies the USA makes all companies (and the FDA) highly “risk-adverse” when it comes to testing new biologics in the USA.
However, once the data is obtained anywhere in the world in human beings (i.e., not mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, or monkeys) that shows that (1) the biologic clearly has the potential to be a safe drug or vaccine and (2) the relative risk of “not offering the treatment” is greater than the risk of “offering an untested treatment.” That is, once enough safety and efficacy evidence has been gathered (anywhere in the world) the FDA and U.S. doctors start committing medical malpractice by not offering a proven biologic to U.S. citizens.
Two cases in point……….Dallas Buyers Club……..public pressure pushed for the rapid deployment of anti-HIV drugs into the human popuation in the late 1980s and 1990s….thus, anti-HIV drugs were developed very quickly. Second case in point….Ebola vaccines…..many concepts were sitting in drawers at the FDA for 15 years (where each filing represents a $5 – $30 million investment of some poor company or individual). The FDA did not grant permission until one Ebola virus-infected person traveled back to the USA and bled out and died in a hospital in Dallas, Texas…….and all of a sudden in 2014, many of those Ebola vaccine concepts started being approved and are now being vetted (due to public pressure).
So, with RVx, there is every reason to suspect that delivering our HSV-1 or HSV-2 vaccines to any human population anywhere in the world will be precisely the activity that most directly “greases the tracks” for approval of the biologic in every other country in the world. However, as I said at the beginning of this comment……it is too early to predict the trajectory in terms of (1) which 10 countries would be first and (2) how long it will take the regressive FDA to officially recognize that “the risk of not offering live HSV vaccines represents medical malpractice to those who progress to a lifetime of recurrent herpetic disease” and that risk (and legal costs) is significantly greater than “the risk of giving individuals in the human population a series of 2 to 3 vaccinations with a live HSV ICP0- mutant vaccine (that is so attenuated that SCID mice can tolerate it for months).”
Not sure why you decided to delete my messages. Worried some millionaire investor is going to read them and under value your company? Why not address my questions properly instead of running from them?
At some point, I felt that you were not really asking a question, but rather trying to engage in a debate where you are simply out of your depth. Perhaps I am wrong, and so please do feel free to develop your cure for herpes, and I will focus on my own approach. Not wasting my time on this thread any more, which is why I deleted it. October 13 is approaching quickly, and that is where my focus will lie for the next 10 days.
It makes me wonder why there is so much stigma associated with genital herpes, and not oral herpes. When I was at my doctors, I was telling him about my condition and he said that genital and oral herpes are pretty much the same thing. You can get ghsv1 and have many outbreaks or you can get ghsv2 and never have outbreaks it all depends on how your body reacts. The same with oral herpes; some people have many outbreaks yearly while others don’t. He mentioned to me that it’s not really a big deal and is a minor adjustment and most people are infected with herpes so I am not a lone. However, at the end of the convo he told me to let my sexual partners know of my condition which I would have anyways.
My question is why is it important to let sexual partners know about having genital herpes but not oral herpes? People think of oral herpes as if it’s just an acne breakout not much stigma to it. After he said that I felt he told me everything prior to letting my partners know so I wouldn’t feel depressed. They both are infectious.
I know there was a marketing campaign years ago by one of the pharma companies to stigmatize it. I think this was evil IMO and a good way to make money out of this skin condition. I believe that we should fight herpes from all angles, not just through vaccines but through campaigns that aim at destigmatizing it because the stigma is a lot worse than the skin infection for most people.
Hello Dr…thank you for your work. Quick question: In your estimation, to what extent will the therapuetic vaccine have to sufferers of HSV1?
Hi Bill Halford,
First of all i would like to thank you for all your effort and heart about eradicating a disease that affects so many people in the world.
Second, and it´s just a sugestion, i think you could consider take a look in Brazil as a place to deploy the vaccine or some place close. Here goes some topics that i just thought right now:
– Brazil and USA are in the frontline about getting a vaccine to beat Zika virus. Many types of Vaccines are being studied, i think a live vaccine is in the course. They have hurry about this. Probably many “FDA´s barriers” are being bypassed in this development there.
– Comparing the currency brazilian real x dollar, i think it would be helpful regarding the spend of money since the dollar has 3 times more value than the Real right now.
– Brazilian Health System offers acyclovir for free spending lots of money on this since herpes there affects millions. Would be monetarily interesting to the country to have a vaccine there.
– After the World Cup and Olympic Games this year, was built a good infrastructure there.
– Is the 5 º most populous Country in the world. Probably one of the highest herpes rate in the world.
Thank you forever.
Hi Dr. H,
I’ve read all of the typical symptoms of hsv. My question is it possible for the virus to all of a sudden go rogue? I read something around the body no longer recognizing the virus as bad and stops fighting it and would cause ongoing outbreaks. Reason I am asking is that any professional I’ve talked to says my symptoms are non herpetic (diagnosed in 2013 with GHSV-1 with only one primary breakout and no reoccurence since then until now. I am 16 weeks post delivery and have been having significant pain and issues. I’ve gone to see the doctor tested for BV and nothing. My symptoms worry me that the virus has gone rogue and taking over my body. Is this possible?? I’ve been taking valacyclovir the last few weeks but have not actually had any lesions or sores. Could I be in a constant prodromal stage? Could the fact that I didn’t have any other outbreaks diminish my antibody production so now the virus is stronger?? My symtoms include:
1) right side groin pain off and on
2) sciatica like pain on right side, pain into periformus
3) random tingling ie upper lip twitches, vibrations, leg twitches etc even arm
4) worst pain is the burning in my genital and perineum
5) crawly/tingly vibrations in vaginal area as well
When I started getting the vaginal vibrations I thought was prodrome so started the valacyclovir. This has done nothing for these symptoms. Again no lesions or actual sores just ongoing related symptoms. Although a week ago the vibrations started I started valacyclovir right away and they stopped a day later … now they keep coming regardless of the valacyclovir.
Does this sound herpetic? Could I be having PHN similar to shingles? I thought hsv-1 was “better” type to have and should have less severe outbreaks?? Although I don’t actually have any lesions or areas that are sore… no typical burning or tingling in one spot either.
I’m so stressed and discouraged. I feel like the virus is taking over. I went from zero impact on my life, getting married, having a baby to not enjoying this time cause I’m in constant discomfort. I’m so worried the virus has morphed into something else and taking over and I’m in a constant prodromal phase? I can’t seem to find much or many with similar symptoms except for a few … is this a rare form?
Some have suggested nerve pain meds or anti anxietals to calm the nervous system. My question is what is going on with the virus that it has literally taken over my body… with no reprieve. Would the vaccine work in these instances? I feel GPs do not know enough and can’t help and I’m basically turned away. Is there any thought on how to treat this… should I let an outbreak happen to reactivate the antibodies???
Any insight would be great!
Happy to discuss after October 13.
Let me simplify this for you. With HSV there is so much unknown information as everyone is different with how their body reacts to the virus. You can read all day long about HSV and you will find many different answers to your questions which will just cause more confusion. There is no correct answer because nobody really knows how your body is responding to the virus. I had it for 2 1/2 years before I was diagnosed due to a few little occasional bumps on my buttocks and have never had an outbreak other than that. I get to live a life alone because nobody truly knows about shedding or how the virus varies among individuals and I will not put this on anyone else. I know many people are looking for that miracle cure and dedicating their lives for a resolution but we have to be realistic….there have been decades of research and I don’t believe anyone truly knows about the virus on an individual level. Some articles will give hope and I guess that is all we can ask for at this point. The why’s and the how’s are irrelevant because not everyone reacts the same towards the virus and nobody can truly tell you otherwise.
Your post made me incredibly sad. You do not have to live your life alone, and you should remember that the MAJORITY of human beings are infected with HSV-1 and/or HSV-2. Roughly 20-25% of Americans woman alone carry the genital version of the virus, and many of them have children and happy families of their own. Don’t let a very common and mostly harmless virus stop you from finding love and happiness. Are the odds good that a cure or a vaccine will hit the shelves anytime soon? Probably not. But are the odds good that you can find someone who accepts you the way you are and accepts the risks (if they aren’t already infected)? Absolutely!
I agree with your comments. I acknowledge Ghostvirus’s viewpoint as a place that many herpes sufferers go. I don’t agree with the viewpoint that “It will always suck, but there is nothing I or anyone else can do.” Yes, hopelessness, despair, and withdrawal are all options, I just don’t think they are the best options. As someone who has been looking his own mortality in the face for five years, I think I am on safe ground saying that I have walked in shoes that could have easily led me to blow my brains out or hang myself. I just chose not to. For the Lord of the Rings geeks out there (such as myself)…….
Young, scared boy wearing armor that is 5 sizes too big for him: “The men are saying that we will not last the night…..that there is no hope.”
Aragorn: Long Pause. Heavy Sigh followed by resignation, and one clear, simple, and accurate response. “There is ALWAYS hope.”
It’s just a matter of whether or not we can find it for ourselves when we are facing seemingly overwhelming odds or obstacles.
Asking a scientist “Is it safe to say” puts them on a slippery slope, and so Yes/No answers become largely impossible. What we can say is that the vast majority of wild-type HSV-2’s life cycle plays out in epithelial cells and neurons, and so I would anticipate the same is true with a live-attenuated HSV-2 ICP0- mutant vaccine.
Are negative interactions possible? Yes. At this point in time, anything is “possible.” The relevant question is, “As the live HSV-2 ICP0- mutant vaccine progresses through its grossly attenuated life cycle, are negative interactions probable?” The answer to this more precise question is an unequivocal “No.” Decades of pre-clinical studies show that HSV ICP0- mutant viruses are ridiculously attenuated, which is why it took me seven years to prove to my virology colleagues that HSV ICP0- mutant viruses were even capable of replication in animals.
Regarding what is proven about the behavior of live HSV-2 ICP0- mutant vaccines in humans, the answer is not much. One has to perform such studies first before one can hope to prove anything. Thank you FDA for making this process unnecessarily cumbersome. Regarding what pre-clinical studies tell us, live HSV-2 ICP0- mutant vaccines should be as safe, or safer, than any of the live-attenuated viral vaccines we currently give our children because they are (1) grossly reactivation-impaired; (2) interferon-hypersensitive; and (3) completely avirulent in every animal model in which they have been tested.
Until we start testing live HSV ICP0- mutant vaccines in people, all sorts of things will be “possible.” After a few small Phase I trials, I think we can greatly allay such concerns as HSV ICP0- mutant viruses are incredibly benign and are primarily known amongst herpesvirologists for their penchant for easily going to sleep (going latent) upon infecting a host cell.
Thank you for the response. I definitely could have framed my question a lot better, but your feedback is still insightful, as always. I look forward to Phase 1 trials to demonstrate to the scientific community and FDA, that your vaccine is the best chance of effectively combating this virus.
Forgive me, i have just read this… “The advantage of “live-attenuated vaccines” is that, for 200 years, if a vaccine was sufficiently attenuated to make it safe for most recipients, then the approach never failed to protect the human population from the intended viral disease. The downside of traditional live vaccines is that they were based on random “accidents of nature” (e.g., genetic point mutations) and did not always achieve the desired level of safety. For example, the oral (live) polio vaccine deployed in 1962 was plagued by issues of “genetic metastability.” This means that during the production of the live poliovirus vaccine, the attenuating mutation could revert at any time and regain its capacity to cause human disease. Thus, about 3 out of every million oral polio vaccine doses would produce disease in vaccine recipients that would leave some children crippled. This specific situation caused a great deal of fear and anxiety about the risks of traditional live-attenuated vaccines.” Thanks Dr Halford.
Hi Dr Halford
Great that the website is up! Are we still a long time away from being able to buy this?
Kind of prayed some information would be there for this. I’d heard that beginning of next year was going to be possible… But seems that’s unlikely…
Glad to hear the blog has been a useful resource. The Accurate Info portion of the website, particularly the “For Patients” portion, has quite a bit of additional information that is not covered on the blog……9-page summary, lecture slides, and audio and video from this 75-minute lecture on persistent infections.
Just saw that your site went live Dr Halford!! Looks great, excellent information , can’t wait to read all the content!! God bless you for your work!
Please forgive the edits to your comment. Wording will be important for a few more weeks, and this is why I annotated your comment. In answer to your query, I think the RVx website will offer these answers, but the short answer for now is…..yes, RVx will be pushing to do both types of clinical trials in (1) current herpes sufferers and (2) those who are most vulnerable to HSV-2 infection by virtue of being HSV-seronegative.
You are the best Dr Halford! Thank you for your dedication!!
Not sure that I am really the best, but I appreciate the compliment. Thank you Theresa.
As I indicated to Joshua the website is complete…….just waiting on the web designer to launch it and make it live. I have a post prepared for when the website goes live…..like you, I am just waiting now. I should note, I only just finished last night, so I have not been waiting very long. The hangup is that it took me 6 months, not 2 months, to complete all of the website content.
Regarding HSV-2 vs HSV-1, I now have a very strong hunch that the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine would offer relief for sufferers of both HSV-1 genital herpes and HSV-2 genital herpes. We eradicated smallpox caused by variola virus using a similar, but not identical, infectious agent called ‘vaccinia virus’ (aka cowpox virus)…………hence the origin of the term “vaccin”[ia]”ation”. HSV-1 and HSV-2 are far more similar [90%] than variola vs vaccinia [maybe 50%], so clearly it is within the realm of possibility that a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine could offer relief to recurrent outbreaks / symptoms driven by both HSV-1 and HSV-2. A little birdie suggested this possibility to me. Will discuss more thoroughly before the end of October 2016.
I know there is a lot of impatience here… A bit like the last 100 meters to the finishing line! You mentioned the same vaccine (Theravax) may work for HSV1 and HSV2 … Does that mean that if you have HSV1 you’ll acquire antibodies for HSV2 and visa versa? You mention it will help sufferers of genital HSV1 and HSV2… Does that apply to Oral HSV1 as well?
Like everyone I appreciate the work you are doing and hope this is a valid question to ask.
Please appreciate that what I offering is a working hypothesis for which there is only limited evidence. Hence, everything that I say represents an important new possibility, and it will take time to see if the evidence bears out the prediction. I will gloss over (not discuss) the supporting evidence for the moment and will get to the possibility I am offering.
The possibility I am suggesting is that not only would a therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine be capable of (1) dialing back an individual’s symptoms who suffers with recurrent herpes driven by HSV-2 (of any type…on genitals, legs, buttock, back, or facial) but there might be adequate “cross-protection” for it might also (2) dial back an individual’s symptoms who suffers with recurrent herpes driven by HSV-1 (oral or genital or elsewhere).
Do I know this for a fact? No. It is too early to say that. But, what I have observed is evidence that this is not only a “possibility,” but is highly probable and I would say the odds are better than not that is true.
So, if in the fullness of time this prediction were true, then a single HSV-2 vaccine (therapeutic and preventative) might be able to clean up the whole damned mess, and effectively stop the spread of all herpetic diseases driven by HSV-1 or HSV-2. Based on what I have observed over the past 6 months, I think there is considerable potential for the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine to offer relief to sufferers of recurrent herpes (oral or genital) driven by HSV-1 or HSV-2.
Again, this is not proven….yet. But, I think it is an important development because it would be simpler to eradicate all herpetic disease if a single HSV vaccine were effective at stopping the spread of all forms of herpes (oral, genital, ocular, neonatal, encephalitis, whitlow, gladitorium, etc).
I am personally not a fan of herbal remedies, but in this space, if it works for you, then why not do it or try it?
You use the term “herbal antiviral.” While an herbal might have an antiviral effect (I am skeptical but acknowledge that I don’t know what I don’t know, and I don’t know much about herbal medicine)…….these are not the antivirals I am talking about on this blog. At this point in time, there is only one class of true antiviral drugs that interfere directly with HSV replication, and these are acylovir-related drugs (acyclovir, famvir, penciclovir, valacyclovir) that all target HSV’s thymidine kinase to be converted into DNA chain terminators that can stop HSV replication. When I say that “antivirals may blunt the natural immune response to HSV,” I am very specifically referring to acyclovir-related drugs.
If helicase-primase inhibitors are ever made available (BTW…thanks FDA for blocking those), then these drugs, such as pritelivir, would also be antivirals that directly interfere with HSV DNA replication by a different pathway, but which should also (most likely) blunt the body’s natural immune response to HSV.
Herbal medicine, vitamins, supplements and everything else that falls into the medicine that traditional doctors do not advocate is irrelevant to my considerations of (1) antiviral drugs that directly interfere with HSV DNA synthesis and which, as a group, (2) should logically reduce the virus’s ability to engage the immune system and maintain natural immunity to HSV.
Regarding point 2, doctors and patients need to distinguish between:
(1) general immunosuppression of the ENTIRE immune system (e.g., someone with AIDS, a woman who is pregnant [high progesterone levels], or on steroid drugs like prednisone)
(2) “HSV-specific tolerization of the immune system,” meaning that the rare HSV-specific T- and B-cells in your body that should give you true immunity (i.e., no herpes symptoms) are simply not engaged in the game.
I would agree that general (global) immunosuppression of the ENTIRE IMMUNE SYSTEM is rarely the explanation for why people are getting chronic herpes outbreaks, and for those few patients (less than 1 per 3,000 HSV-infected persons) where this is true, a simple review of their medical history and verification that they are not frankly anemic would be sufficient most of the time to catch those cases. So, yes, I agree with you…..general immunosuppression is not the explanation for why the majority of patients experience herpetic disease such as genital herpes, cold sores, or ocular herpes that recurs at an exceptionally high frequency (i.e., more than 6 times per year).
I think the piece of the puzzle that everyone is missing (scientists, doctors, and patients) is that for many sufferers, recurrent herpetic disease in all forms (>6 outbreaks per year) may very often be a “disease of immunological tolerance” where the T- and B-cells (the T-cells in particular) that should be protecting you are “burned out” on HSV’s antigens and have become non-responsive. In many chronic viral infections, when the body is constantly being exposed to the foreign proteins, the B- and T-cells may be duped into believing that the foreign protein is a “self protein” (part of you), and so they dial back what might be a potential autoimmune response. Logically, if your rare HSV-specific T-cells and B-cells quit engaging (fighting) the virus, then you should experience recurrent herpes symptoms way more (30 to >180 days per year) than HSV latently-infected persons who are always asymptomatic or who “only” experience 1 – 2 mild outbreaks per year.
i’ve recently been diagnosed with HSV-2 , i’m in sever agony over this diagnosis especially because of the fact that i can spread it even without having any symptoms, so my question is , in regards to viral shedding , to what degree do you think the vaccine will prevent viral shedding ?
i was in complete despair until i found your research, this is the hardest and worst thing that has ever happened to me.
thank you for everything that you are doing
Thanks for your detailed reply, Bill.
It makes sense to me. I am very skeptical about doctors who say that you get herpes outbreaks when you have other chronic diseases, your immune system is very low, under stress etc. it’s more about specifics of recognizing hsv. Then what about correlation between getting cold and having herpes in the same time?.. Might be that hsv specific T and B cells get even weaker when you get cold.
I am looking now into homeopathic approach which offers hsv nosodes.
A nosode is a homeopathic therapy that could be described as an ‘oral vaccine’. Nosodes are derived from pathological substances; i.e. tissue, blood, pus, mucus, sweat, urine, feces from a diseased human or animal. But those are not live vaccines. They use more “imprint”of pathogen. I guess you would be sceptical about this since it’s not live vaccine. Unfortunately that’s what is being offered so far on the market so we look forward to your work.
Great question, but I do not have time this weekend to respond. If I don’t give you an answer by Wednesday, give me a nudge and I will respond then.
Hi Bill. Hope you are doing ok and will have some time to answer my previous question.
also it would be interesting to hear your opinion if smth like Low Dose Naltrexone in theory might help to fight with HSV. (http://restormedicine.com/low-dose-naltrexone/) It should boost immune system response. But I wonder if it also boosts HSV specific response or just boosts immune system in general and would be of little help to fight herpes.
Thank you for the reminder. I do not know much about naltrexone other than that it is an opioid antagonist that typically would be used to help wean addicts off of heroin, etc.
How it fits into the management of herpes…..I have to profess complete ignorance. I keep hearing more and more about it, so I will have to do some reading and get up to speed. Until then, I have no firm opinion on the matter but I have heard positive things from a handful of herpes patients.
Looking at and responding to your other note now.
Thanks. You are right Naltrexone is opioid antagonist. I was referring to Low Dose Naltrexone use (4.5 mg). They claim that it blocks opioid receptors for couple of hours which then stimulates body to produce more endorphins (as it felt shortage of production by blocking). In its turn endorphins is one of the key factors in the ommune system and it boosts immune system.
Now there is a question. Will it help with herpes if it boosts general immune system? Is there a chance that it will also boost hsv specific immune reply?
This question actually applies to other methods of immune system boosting.Does boosting ( as advised by dictors) of immune system (vitamins, healthy diet, no alcohol etc) means that all specific pathogen reply like hsv is also getting boosted? Or it will boost your immune system but will not help with herpes as it’s more about teaching immunity to recognize virus (quality vs power of innunity)?Knowing your knowledge of immune system it would very interesting to hear your opinion.
given how many people have far fewer if any outbreaks than others with hsv2, is it possible there are subtypes that have not yet been discovered? ones that are more virulent than others?
Please read the Accurate Info for Patients Document on RVx’s website, which should launch in a few days (rationalvaccines.com). The website is done and the review is complete……I am only waiting on the web designer to launch what already exists.
Thank you for your kind words and thoughts, so nicely stated. Although my job title is “professor,” I am confident that in short order it will become very clear that I do precisely as I profess. Most people are just not used to thinking of a specific job, or task, as requiring years to complete. Like anyone, I can mow my lawn in 30 minutes. However, the job (task) that this blog revolves around has been ongoing since 2006. Good science that stands the test of time just needs to be done in a very deliberate and methodical manner….dotting i’s, crossing t’s, and triple-checking that nothing was missed.
I am confident that I can put the ball across the goal line before my time is up, and show my scientific colleagues and medical professionals that we have the power to (1) stop the spread of herpes with effective HSV vaccines and (2) reduce the amount of suffering herpes causes in those already infected with effective therapeutic HSV vaccines. At issue, I believe that many of those who suffer with recurrent herpes do so simply because their immune system was duped by this most stealthy of viruses into believing that herpes is just another part of the body to be tolerated, rather than attacked. An effective therapeutic HSV vaccine reawakens the immune system out of this stupor and gets the body’s immune system back in the game by showing it that HSV is not a friend, but rather is an enemy combatant that must be vigorously attacked, and contained, such that herpes sufferers can have their symptoms dialed back to “asymptomatic” (or as close to that goal as is attainable).
If you ever saw “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” all I can say is, “I’m not dead yet.” Let’s save mourning for when it’s appropriate. in the meantime, let’s get ‘er done.
– Bill H.
I feel like I have answered this question a dozen times previously. No, I don’t think CRISPR is going to be a viable treatment option for anything in the foreseeable future. Rather than repeat previous lengthy responses, I just offer the take-home message here.
Dear Dr Halford.
Firstly I’d like to express my gratitude for the work you are so unselfishly pursuing in this area of research.
I wanted to get your view on the seemingly positive results filtering through recently from the NY Einstein vaccine trials on mice, the report is linked below:
Appreciate any feedback or views on the efficacy of this vaccine.
The live HSV-2 vaccine just shares more in common with your actual infection, but if Zostavax helps you, then that is great. One vaccine does not preclude / interfere with the other.
The answer is no. HIV and Hep C viruses are bloodborne and thus people infected with HIV and Hep C (and other bloodborne agents) cannot donate blood. HSV-1 and HSV-2 are not bloodborne viruses, and so there would be no reason that (1) persons who are naturally infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2 or (2) persons who are vaccinated with a live HSV-1 or HSV-2 vaccine could not donate blood.
So that I have a clear understanding- the live vaccine that you are working on will not cure or eradicate the HSV-2 virus? It will surpress symptoms longer and better than current treatments such as valtrex, but persons Receiving the vaccine cannot say ” had HSV-2, but now I do not”? Persons that have this virus will always have to label themselves as “infected with HSV2”?
I had chicken pox as a child and did not get the vaccine. It wasn’t marketed until later. i was told it would always be in my body, and could reactivate at anytime… Though it hasn’t..
Just trying to understand so that I am not hanging on false hope or assumption.
Hi Rylee, All that you say is essentially true but I would make a couple of slight modifications.
I anticipate that the new Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine RVx will be offering would offer an improved standard of care for many HSV-2 genital herpes sufferers. It is probably unrealistic to say that this would be universally true, as valtrex is effective for many sufferers. A therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine would provide a new treatment option for those for whom valtrex is insufficient to reduce their symptoms.
Second, the beauty of avaccine is that we should be able to eliminate transmission risks within discordant couples by vaccinating the susceptible / vulnerable half of the couple.
Those modifications noted, i essentially agree with what you wrote.
Anything is possible. However, there is no prior precedent to show that this is feasible. That is, many are making the suggestion that gene editing could be used to undo herpes infection or HIV infection by simply removing the virus’s genetic material from thousands to millions of virus-infected cells. However, unlike vaccines, there is not a single example where we have succeeded in achieving such a lofty goal and it is unclear that investigators have even achieved this goal in an animal model much less a human being.
So, do I think it is possible? It is possible but I do not find it to be terribly plausible….this point is illustrated here starting at 1:30 in the following video…..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX5jNnDMfxA
So, I think it is vanishingly unlikely that an endonuclease like CRISPR could be delivered to every cell in the body that houses a viral infection to systematically remove 100% of the viral DNA from the human body. Honestly, I would be surprised if the technology could be used in a human being to remove 1% of the viral DNA. I do sincerely hope that I am proven wrong. However, I would imagine that the majority of microbiologists (1) who teach antimicrobial drugs to future doctors and thus understand the constraints that have to be met for a drug to work and (2) the strengths and limitations of molecular genetics would generally agree with the assessment I offer above. So, simply stated……….possible but not overwhelmingly likely until there is proof to the contrary from animal models.
The difference in people’s variable level of symptoms probably has very little to do with different HSV-1 or HSV-2 strains. Unlike influenza or HIV (viruses that use error-prone RNA replication at some phase of their life cycle), HSV-1 and HSV-2 are DNA viruses that replicate in the nucleus of a cell where our own cells provide DNA “proofreading” functions that reduce the error-rate by 10,000-fold relative to RNA viruses that do not have access to this machinery (i.e., they complete the RNA-dependent phase of their replication in the cytoplasm of our cells). So, for HSV-1 and HSV-2, different strains are 99.9% similar and there is no evidence of which I am aware that strain difference accounts for the different outcomes of infection.
In contrast, one major variable is the specific conditions of virus transmission. For example, exposure to HSV-2 with an intact epithelium / mucosa (e.g., skin and the lining of the vagina) is probably not nearly as bad as exposure to HSV-2 shortly after a ‘Brazilian’ pubic hair removal, which leaves a lot of damaged skin, or after a 4-hour sex marathon that leaves these protective layers damaged. A second major variable is how the adaptive immune response (antibodies and T-cells) come together to control the infection.
There are no definite answers here, but my experience tells me that (1) conditions of virus transmission and (2) immune status at the time of infection (e.g., a weekend bender of alcohol does not help the immune system do its job) are probably two of the big factors. For women, the menstrual cycle (which involves massive changes in hormones that regulate epithelial sloughing and dampen the immune response) represents a third big variable. All that said, it has been for as long as I have been in the herpes field been a matter of debate what differentiates the 80% of people who are asymptomatically infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2 from the 2 – 5% of people who live with recurrent herpetic disease.
the same variation can be said for the human genome. 0.1% accounts for most genetic differences which make us all individual. Would the differences between strains, such as KOS and McKrae cause alterations in treatment effectiveness? If a therapy is constructed based on KOS strain for example, would it work for someone with McKrae strain? Or would these genetic differences not matter?
Some reports state the difference in strain sequencing make one more infective while the other can express infection more often due to variations in LAT genes.
It’s hard to compare the 0.1% difference of complexity in human genome to that of hsv, but could this small amount of genetic variation have substantial implications for treatment?
The HSV-1 strains to which you refer, HSV-1 strain McKrae and HSV-1 strain KOS, are laboratory strains of HSV-1. It is my impression speaking with clinical colleagues that HSV-1 strain KOS is more representative of how wild-type HSV-1 in the human population behaves, and I note that the strain KOS I inherited from my postdoctoral mentor, Priscilla Schaffer, was only 9 passages removed from its isolation from Kendall O Smith (KOS) in 1964. In contrast, the passage history of McKrae is murkier, and it is probably more laboratory-adapted and it is those adaptations that account for its unnaturally high virulence……..McKrae kills 100% of adult mice whereas KOS kills 0% of adult mice.
You can choose to focus on strain variation being significant in the human population, but I disagree. If that were true, then there would be localized pockets of population like in Raleigh, North Carolina (an arbitrarily chosen location) where the “higher reactivating HSV-1 strain” you are proposing would cause everyone in that region to have recurrent oral herpes and asymptomatic infections would not occur. In contrast, in Des Moines, Iowa perhaps there would be a prevalence of “low-reactivating / low virulence” HSV-1 strains circulating and thus recurrent oral herpes would be non-existent in this part of the world. I am cool with the hypothesis, but the simple fact of the matter is that there is no evidence collected on the natural history of HSV-1 or HSV-2 spread that supports this interpretation (I note the data dates back to Buddingh, 1953, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13073293). So, I repeat what I said earlier, strain variation is not the most likely source of the difference in asymptomatic vs symptomatic / recurrent herpes infections.
In contrast, the natural (simple) variables that one would expect in transmission events are profoundly powerful in affecting outcomes as shown in the following landmark study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15331741. For example, Figure 1 illustrates how the variable of scarification (breakdown of the innate immune defense of the epithelial barrier) profoundly influences the outcome of HSV-1 infection, and I note the same is true for HSV-2.
So, strain variation in humans or virus I do not think is the real explanation, but that is at the end of the day simply my interpretation of the available evidence of the past 60 years.
P.S. My tongue is firmly in cheek when I refer to the “landmark” publication above.
Does gene sequencing and strain variation have any role to play in why a person who already has an oral hsv 1 infection and then acquires a hsv 1 genital infection?
I’d just like to add two links for the benefit of any further discussion and in no way would wish to attempt to argue against Dr. Halford’s point that the level of disease is more a question of the host’s ability to control, rather than the neuroinvasiveness of the virus.
I have often felt that in relocating from Europe to Asia some years ago, and subsequently being exposed to an Asian HSV strain, that my European DNA was deficient in dealing with that local strain. There is a paper by Moriah L. Szpara et al. (2014) “Evolution and Diversity in Human Herpes Simplex Virus Genomes” – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3911644 which claims evidence of regional variations in HSV strains across cities, including large deletions and frameshifts (not that that means very much to me, though I copy the text for reference).
Perhaps more interestingly however (another from my own archives), is the paper “Functional and molecular analyses of the avirulent wild-type herpes simplex virus type 1 (1986)”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC252894 which goes further to suggest (the basis of the paper in fact) that there is a balance between neurovirulence and neuroinvasiveness of HSV, such that virus can trade one against the other – that if a virus is more neuroinvasive and therefore more causative in disease, then it does so at the cost of its virulence.
This is always an interesting topic for me, since the extent to which my own symptoms have impacted me, have often seemed to border on the outrageous and in the past I have tended to blame – perhaps ignorantly – it on a more neuroinvasive strain of HSV-1. Jim.
I’m waiting w bated breath to hear Dr halfords response, because I have questioned this too. I got hsv 2 In Charlotte, NC where I developed severe neuropathy from it and I have met one other person Who got the worst case I’ve heard to date in the same location. I had someone ask me recently who is asymptomatic w H, if sleeping w me would result in them reacting as I have, if they catch my strain. That’s a hard question to answer. I now not only fear sleeping w someone w out it, but who already has it and I could possibly cause them what has happened to me. I couldn’t live w myself knowing I inflicted such pain on someone I care about. Here goes to celibacy the rest of my life… Already two yrs and 3 weeks down.. what’s the rest of my life matter? Lol . Get used to it at this point.
Hi Bill, thank you for your work and for this blog. I am fascinated to read this: “In contrast, one major variable is the specific conditions of virus transmission. For example, exposure to HSV-2 with an intact epithelium / mucosa (e.g., skin and the lining of the vagina) is probably not nearly as bad as exposure to HSV-2 shortly after a ‘Brazilian’ pubic hair removal, which leaves a lot of damaged skin, or after a 4-hour sex marathon that leaves these protective layers damaged”. Am I reading this correctly that symptoms and frequency of recurrence could be partly a function of “how bad” the exposure to the virus was? So, in turn, would this have implications for patient education, basically advising people to avoid those things that would make the infection worse should it occur? For example telling discordant couples to avoid sex during menstruation or right after shaving.
In general, yes, I think you are reading this correctly. I would assume that post-shaving is one of the more common pre-disposing factors that allows exposure to HSV-1 or HSV-2 to infect an initially larger area and perhaps set up a primary infection that lasts longer. As the size (extent across the genitals and skin) and the duration of the primary infection increase, so would a person’s risk for (1) a larger reservoir of HSV latently infected neurons and (2) a higher risk for reactivation events / recurrent herpes later in life.
Please see my earlier reply to Devastated and Sam. I am, as usual, under multiple time deadlines and thus I do not respond further other referring you to the answer I provided to a similar question earlier today.
I cannot find or don’t know how too see comments from “Devastated” or a “Sam”.?
Rylee……repost of my response to Devastated and Sam,
You are asking parallel questions, so I offer a single response rather than write something similar twice.
Devastated, regarding a superior line of HSV vaccines that are 50x better than GEN-003 and the improved diagnostic test that is similarly far better than current gG-based antibody tests (HerpeSelect, Theranos, etc), these products will be offered by Rational Vaccines Inc. (http://rationalvaccines.com/). The content for the website is done, but the process of working through web developer is taking far longer than I had hoped. Hopefully this will be remedied ASAP, as I (and many on this blog) are growing frustrated with a website that I thought would be launched by now. Once the content is up, the Rational Vaccines website will contain all of the info that addresses your questions. So, please check it out when it goes live…..I will announce on the blog when this is the case. It will not be a traditional biotech website, but will have all of the info (several layers worth of info) so that everyone can get to the bottom of what the vaccines do, why they work better than past herpes vaccines, and the same is true for the diagnostic test which is a separate but equally important issue.
Sam, I would anticipate that a safety trial of the Theravax^HSV-2 vaccine (our lead vaccine, but we also have a Theravax^HSV-1 too) would take about 3 months to initiate regarding the vaccinations themselves, and there would be another 9 months of follow-up. Unlike all of the scam artists who operate in the vaccine space, I do not believe in blowing on horns and trumpets just because a Phase I Clinical Trial is planned. Once a Phase I Clinical Trial is complete, Rational Vaccines will have (1) a press release around the successful results of said trial showing that Theravax is safe, immunogenic, and reduces most herpes sufferers symptoms and (2) we will post a representative swath of data from the trial on the RVx website such that is immediately available to the world. Perhaps as early as December 2016.
No promises on timeline though. I work on this about 80 or 90 hours per week, so rest assured that I am doing everything within my power to bring all of this into the light of day and make it part of the new reality that we will first be controlling symptoms and then stopping the spread of herpes in the human population. However, real science (not the hype and BS of Genocea, Vical, Admedus, and Agenus) that breaks fundamentally new ground takes time to do right. We have been getting herpes vaccines totally wrong (i.e., the scientific community) for 30+ years because we were “in a hurry” (e.g., failed Herpevac and GEN-003 are essentially the same vaccine with the exception of the addition of 300-likely-irrelevant amino acids from ICP4). I, on the other hand, am in no such hurry because it is a false notion that real science can be rushed. Rushing leads to mistakes, bad assumptions, bad hypotheses and conjecture become misinformation with the passage time as people repeat the same mistruths for decades, until the whole field descends into disarray and confusion about which direction is the correct path out of the quagmire created by humans who were “in a hurry” (creating confusion around bad herpes vaccine concepts for 30+ years).
Someone told me once (not sure if this is true but it makes a nice story), that Napoleon walked into a barber shop and says to the barber about cut his hair, “I am in a hurry. So, please take your time.” In other words, I don’t have time for mistakes, so please do the job right the first time. That’s the reality of science. Good science takes three times longer than B.S., but the difference is that because you actually prove the underlying truth that is correct, noone has to come after you, sweep up the mess, and start from scratch again.
Knowledge in the hereps vaccine space really is, for the first time in decades, moving forward and I believe that will be apparent when Rational Vaccines’ website goes live.
I am working as hard as I can on this, but I cannot promise a timeline because it is not solely in my control but is a team effort involving dozens of people. So, when will a HSV-2 vaccine that actually works as a therapeutic vaccine and a preventative vaccine be available to the public? As soon as possible.
Thank you! Seems like it won’t be long now. December 2016 isn’t that far away, even if it goes a little longer. Thank you and we are all “rooting” for you. I pray daily for this to become reality…
FYI, Brits and Aussies just love it when Americans say they are rooting for a cause as this has a different meaning in their version of the English language. I would focus less on the timeline, and more on the fact that what Rational Vaccines (RVx) is offering is the first correct solution that has been offered with the potential to eradicate herpes. I anticipate the website going live in August, and hopefully that will give you and others a more complete picture of what RVx is doing to address all aspects of the herpes problem.
Not sure what meaning it has for Brits and Aussies, but I meant no disrespect. I just meant on behalf of myself and the other suffers we are extremely grateful and hoping day in and day out the suffering will and we can feel we are part of the ‘normal’ population. Thanks for your effort and being generous enough to interact here with us. I will be awaiting launching of the website… 😊
I did not take your words as disrespectful in the least, but was just giving you a heads up on the other meaning of rooting in Aussie slang….(http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rooting&defid=3979228). I join you in your hope.
I hope to be able to help you out one day.
I am using your note to clarify a point that is often made to me by herpes sufferers, such as yourself. I empathize with your situation and I am truly sorry that people have to suffer with what should have become a vaccine-preventable disease by the year 2000. Despite the sadness it causes me to think about so much needless suffering, my job is not to counsel or help any one person. In fact, I have precious little time to do so and any time I take on this tact delays the rollout of life-changing medicine. My job is to help you, and the millions of others who suffer in silence like you, by (1) not responding to pleas such as this and (2) remaining focused every day on getting effective live HSV-1 and HSV-2 vaccines out onto the global market so that we can all, together, eradicate herpes and ensure that our children and grandchildren grow up in a world where “herpes” is little more than an afterthought and historical footnote as a problem that was solved decades ago.
Every day from the time I wake until the time I go to bed, this is what drives me. My company, Rational Vaccines, is getting close to making this happen and our website should be going live in a few weeks (rationalvaccines.com). So, Imbrahim, no I cannot stop the work I am doing for millions of herpes sufferers in order to address your individual plight. But please know that I am working for you and millions of other people like you every day of my life, and have been solely dedicated to this cause for the past 10 years since I discovered that there was something concrete that I could do to stop to the spread of all forms of herpetic disease.
Rational Vaccines is developing therapeutic HSV-1 and HSV-2 vaccines. So, yes, there should be a therapeutic vaccine for genital HSV-1 sufferers too. Website should go live in a few weeks…….rationalvaccines.com
Would your website give information of when it will be available?
Hello Bill in her question Claire asks about GHSV1 and I would just like to ask if this would work as a therapeutic vaccine for OHSV1? I’m assuming so as it is the same virus but just wanted to check thanks
Great question. No, a person who received the Zostavax or Varivax (live VZV) vaccines would not be contraindicated from receiving a live HSV-1 or live HSV-2 vaccines. These are three distinct vaccines and there is no reason to expect one would interfere with the other. From what I have heard, people trying to alleviate their herpes symptoms with the live VZV vaccines have had a high frequency of “no change” outcomes, which immunologically makes more sense than what was reported in the 2012 paper you cite. That said, I cannot imagine any harm in receiving a live VZV vaccine, so if you wish to give it try, you should go for it.
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