A Key Part of RVx’s Mission
Rational Vaccines (RVx) formed around the research of its Chief Science Officer, Dr William Halford, who has studied the biology of herpes simplex virus (HSV) for 20 years. At RVx, we believe an essential step towards solving the world’s herpes problem is to improve the accuracy of information that scientists, clinicians and patients rely upon to (1) intelligently discuss genital herpes and (2) identify tractable solutions to improve the diagnosis, management, and prevention of herpetic disease.
Acyclovir-like drugs, such as valtrex, may be poorly absorbed into the bloodstream of patients or may blunt the adaptive immune response to HSV, hence eroding the body’s natural defenses against recurrent HSV infections.
Currently, doctors learn as much about herpes as they do about malaria. This is troubling. Many American doctors will not interact with a single malaria patient next year, but most will interact with scores of patients who suffer from some form of herpetic disease. Doctors have been led to believe that acyclovir-like antiviral drugs are an effective treatment for most forms of herpetic disease. Patient experience tells a different story. Acyclovir-like drugs, such as valtrex, may be poorly absorbed into the bloodstream of patients or may blunt the adaptive immune response to HSV, hence eroding the body’s natural defenses against recurrent HSV infections. Acyclovir-like drugs do not address all herpes symptoms for all patients.
Decades of research on HSV biology has yielded information that could be used to improve the diagnosis, management, and prevention of herpetic disease. This portion of RVx’s website exists to facilitate the productive exchange of more recent knowledge about herpes biology between patients and medical professionals.
Improving the Quality of the Doctor-Patient Relationship
At the core of the issue is the quality of the doctor-patient relationship. Patients are often better informed about recurrent HSV infections than their doctors. When patients describe “atypical” herpes symptom to their doctors, doctors often express disbelief that herpes could produce such symptoms. Learn more about the association between HSV genital herpes and neuropathic pain, a herpes symptom that is absent from most medical textbooks. Doctors often question the credibility of patients who dare suggest herpes may be causing their chronic nerve pain in the absence of externally visible lesions. Such disagreements over “atypical” herpes symptoms can rapidly undermine trust, and lead a herpes patient to abandon their doctor. Hence, millions of herpes sufferers turn to the internet for information and anonymous support.
…the dissemination of Accurate Information about HSV infections is essential…
At RVx, we believe that the dissemination of Accurate Information about HSV infections is essential if we hope to (1) improve the clinical management of herpes and (2) usher in a new era in which doctors are provided with the live-and-appropriately-attenuated HSV vaccines that will be required to stop the spread of genital herpes.
Click on the links below to access summaries of critical issues surrounding genital herpes relevant to:
- Medical professionals who work with patients affected by genital herpes.
- Genital herpes patients trying to better understand their condition.
These summaries will be updated quarterly.