As a nurse in a sexual health clinic, I can say that the more vaccines we have for STI’s the better. Sadly it doesn’t look like the hopeful vaccine for herpes isn’t going to available any time soon.For more on this story, read past the picture.
Study for female focused herpes vaccine misses the mark
In the New England Journal of Medicine a recent report showed the failings of an experimental herpes vaccine aimed at protecting young women against herpes. Only one of the two types of the sexually transmitted virus were successfully avoided in the trial, crushing hopes for widespread use of the vaccine.
For unknown reasons, the vaccine protects against herpes simplex virus type 1, known as HSV1, but not type 2, known as HSV2, the study of more than 8,000 women aged 18 to 30 found.
This is quite unfortunate since it’s HSV2 that is the more damaging type of herpes (the one on the genitals). HsV1 is usually found on the mouth and although it can be transmitted to the genitals through oral sex, it’s not as common or as severe.
That being said, according to the Center for Disease Control, over 60% of the American population is infected with HSV1, so…a vaccine for this wouldn’t exactly be a bad idea.
Where will the research go from here?
According to the author of the study Dr. Peter A. Leone “We’re going to need a different approach,” His trial used a vaccine containing an HSV protein designed to trigger an immune response against the virus. Maybe, he said, a vaccine that uses weakened live virus — like the chickenpox vaccine — would work better.
Dare to dream! If an effective vaccine could be found for both variations of herpes, a lot of people would have a lot less to worry about when having sex.