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Generic Title: Theravax Herpes Vaccine.

Jesus Chuy

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Hi Mark,

If HSV-seronegative partners receive the preventative HSV-2 vaccine, then they should be immune to all diseases caused by HSV-2 and likely HSV-1 as well and should not have to worry about contracting HSV-1 or HSV-2. This is the correct way to look at this, and yes this is totally do-able. Persons already infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2 may benefit from the therapeutic HSV vaccine, but I think it would be an oversimplification to say it would be like they were never infected at all. Better is do-able; undoing all aspects of the infection in terms of completely reversing the risk of shedding infectious virus seems like a heavy lift to me. Despite 30 years of anti-herpes antiviral drugs, to date all we have achieved is a 2-fold reduction in HSV-2 shedding and this is just too small of a change to really move the needle on HSV transmission risks.

With the preventative vaccine, you can think in relative absolutes….should reduce people’s risk of contracting herpes by >99%. With the therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine (based on a live-attenuated virus), I think there is a great deal of promise there based on the trial RVx recently ran, but it will take further research before we can commit to hard numbers in terms of the reduction in the relative levels of shedding of HSV-1 or HSV-2. I am optimistic this will be an improvement for most herpes sufferers, but it would be irresponsible to speculate beyond (overinterpret) what the current data set shows.

I believe the therapeutic HSV vaccines can bring a great deal of relief to a lot of people, but it will require study and practical clinical experience on thousands of patients before we can define what a “great deal of relief” means and which subset of herpes sufferers reap the most benefit. My limited experience to date suggests that individuals who live with herpes-induced neuropathic pain may be big beneficiaries of the therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine, but I will feel more comfortable with that conclusion after we replicate it in another 100 patients who suffer with this condition.

So, I am optimistic therapeutic HSV vaccines can help and I am certain that preventative HSV vaccines can stop the spread of all herpetic diseases. But, there remains a lot of science to do, and we need to ramp up the number of patients, doctors, and researchers involved in this research by several 100-fold before it will may to have a global impact.

– Bill H

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Just wanted to share this so we understand how the vaccine works. Dr. Halford is being realistic and people need to read his research documents and make their own opinion. 

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