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December 23, 2016

Dear Herpes Vaccine Blog Readers,

Christmas is upon us and it is, in the Christian culture, the season of giving.  I recognize that followers of this blog will be people of many nationalities, cultures, religious creeds (including atheism), and thus my intent herein is not to project any such beliefs upon my readership.  However, I would like to, in the Christmas tradition, offer up a gift I have never given before……a relatively succinct and complete overview of my HSV-2 vaccine research of the past decade.

While I have published over 50 manuscripts in my career, these have all been through the traditional scientific peer-review system.  Within this post, I announce a manuscript that I have been writing for the past two months, and the readers of the Herpes Vaccine Research blog will be the first people on the planet to see this manuscript.  So, Merry Christmas!  My gift to the hundreds / thousands of people around the world who have followed my blog over the past three years in the original form of the (1) Science Blog website I launched in June 2013 and (2) my private (advertisement-free) blog that I launched in January 2015.

Over that time, the two blogs have received more than 450,000 hits and those views have come from over 120 countries around the world.  To those for whom English is not their mother tongue, I do apologize for my abject ignorance of your and many other languages.  If I was multilingual, I would have a multi-language blog.  I am all too acutely aware that herpes afflicts those whose mother tongues are Spanish, Korean, Turkish, etc.  I hope that my work may help people of all countries regardless of the color of the skin, the language they use to communicate, or their religious convictions or lack thereof.

Below I cut-and-paste the Title and Abstract of this manuscript to provide readers with some idea of what is contained within within this 44-page / 8-Figure manuscript.  It is unlike any manuscript I have previously written and it recounts how my cancer diagnosis in February 2011 led me to begin self-testing my lab’s live HSV-2 0NLS vaccine in Sept 2011 (as soon as I had recovered from intensive chemotherapy and radiation).

Just to test the waters and confirm what I thought would be true, I submitted this manuscript to the journal Future Virology on December 4, 2016.  On December 21, 2016 I was informed that 3 reviewers hated the manuscript for a variety of reasons.  This is what I expected, as the established vaccine science community will have to (1) accept their HSV-2 subunit vaccine approaches of the past 30 years have been an abject failure if they are to (2) acknowledge that, perhaps, Bill Halford may be saying something worth seriously considering.

So, to my readership, please bear in mind that there are two sides to this story.  Perhaps I am just an arrogant idiot who has nothing of value to add to the conversation about HSV-2 vaccine development.  I think this is what the three reviewers who rejected the attached manuscript would have you believe.  Alternatively, perhaps I am speaking a simple truth that is inconvenient to other vaccine scientists, and thus they choose to bury my words and suppress my thoughts as much as possible so that they may carry on with business-as-usual.

Acknowledging that I cannot objectively evaluate myself, let me embrace and encourage readers to consider the possibility that I may be an entertaining, but nonetheless delusional, fool who has nothing of real scientific value to offer the world.  So, perhaps the attached manuscript should have been soundly rejected as it was.  However, I do believe that (1) there are 100 million people who suffer with recurrent herpetic disease and it is (2) those herpes sufferers who should have the greatest say in which HSV-2 vaccine candidates and antiviral drugs are moving forward to human clinical trials.  I am quite confident that this has not been the case.  Perhaps it is time to dis-empower the few hundred HSV-2 vaccine scientists and antiviral developers who seek to maintain absolute control over the “potential herpes cure” pipeline by which potentially life-saving / life-improving medicines are brought to the world.  If they were succeeding at this task, I would not care.  However, after 30 years of non-stop failures in the realm of herpes treatments and herpes vaccines, these individuals no longer have my vote of confidence.

So, to my readership, I leave it to you to decide.  Immediately below, please find three links to the (1) cover letter I wrote to Future Virology on December 4, 2016; (2) the Perspectives article that I submitted to Future Virology on December 4, 2016; and (3) the unfiltered reviews I received back on December 21, 2016.   My gift to you……the past decade of my life summed up in a single manuscript, for your consideration, and the opinions of three herpes vaccine experts as to why this manuscript does not rise to a degree of quality that warrants sharing with the rest of the world.

Thank you one and all for your support over the years, which has been the driving force behind the blog.

Sincerely yours,

Bill Halford


  1.  Cover letter for Halford Dec 2016 Manuscript
  2.  Complete Halford Dec 2016 Manuscript (8 Figures are on pp. 37-44)
  3.  Decision Letter and Reviewer’s Comments on Halford Dec 2016 Manuscript
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