Understanding genital herpes: knowledge is power
When patients receive a diagnosis of genital herpes, the news is often devastating. Unlike most microbes, infections with herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) are life-long. Therefore, the ramifications of a genital herpes diagnoses last a human lifetime, and raise a variety of questions such as:
- Will the lesions and pain ever stop?
- Do I have to avoid relationships forever?
- What is this virus doing to my body?
- Can I unknowingly spread this virus to my friends, family, or children?
Such fears and concerns are all too real for sufferers, and make genital herpes much more than just a skin infection. At Rational Vaccines (RVx), we believe that knowledge is power. Patients who gain a basic understanding of the infection and how to manage, and even minimize, their symptoms are more likely to regain control of their lives and their futures.
The fine details of HSV infections and herpetic disease outcomes are far too complex for RVx to suggest we can address the hundreds of questions and concerns that will arise from patients. However, we believe it is possible to provide patients, particularly those newly infected, with easier access to the basic science that describes what is known about HSV infections, and the practical implications that follow for the diagnosis, management, and eventually prevention of HSV transmission.
To learn more, download RVx’s Accurate Info for Patients document, which summarizes:
- The Basic Biology of HSV Infections,
- The Relationship between Latent HSV Infections and Genital Herpes Disease, and
- Strategies to Manage Genital Herpes: Present and Future.
Understanding persistent microbial infections
RVx’s Chief Science Officer, William Halford, has been teaching future doctors about infectious disease since 2000. Below are slides that summarize the basic biology of persistent infections, and which use HSV-1 as a model system to illustrate how an infectious agent may establish a life-long infection. A video and audio recording of this 75-minute lecture, broken up into five parts, offers a broader context to understand how HSV-1 and HSV-2 establish persistent infections in humans that alternate between periods of latency and recurrent disease.
- View slides on “Microbial Immune Evasion & Persistence” (α-herpesviruses considered in Slides 45 – 142)
- Hear audio and see slides of a 75-minute lecture on “Microbial Immune Evasion & Persistence” broken up into five parts:
- Introduction to Persistent Infections (10 minutes)
- Strategies that Promote Microbial Persistence (13 minutes)
- Introduction to the α-Herpesviruses (26 minutes)
- Immunity to HSV (11 minutes)
- Viral Countermeasures & Recurrent Herpes (17 minutes)
This page will be refined and updated quarterly.