Is There a Cure for Herpes?

No

Though treatment options are available for suppressing and dealing with outbreaks caused by some types of herpes ...

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Disclaimer: This information isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should never rely upon this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

Herpes is not just one virus. There are actually eight viruses in the herpes family that commonly infect humans, including oral and genital herpes (caused by Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 and Herpes Simplex Virus type 2), as well as some others you’ve probably heard of, like Varicella Zoster Virus, which causes chickenpox and shingles, and Epstein-Barr Virus, which causes infectious mononucleosis (mono) (1).

If you have any of the herpes viruses, we’ve got some bad news. There is no cure for these viruses, and they will live in your body for the rest of your life (2) (yes, that includes oral and genital herpes).

Don’t worry, there’s good news, too.

Although these viruses remain in the body, for most people they stay dormant most of the time, and many people rarely, if ever, experience outbreaks. And when it comes to oral and genital herpes, in particular, there are excellent treatments available—even if they’re not curative, they can work quite well.

For genital herpes, there is an option for ongoing treatment to prevent outbreaks, or abortive treatment when an outbreak occurs (3). With oral herpes, there are approved treatments for outbreaks (4), and some doctors will prescribe those same medications for prevention as well.

At Roman, we offer treatment options that may help with oral or genital herpes. To learn more visit, start an online visit with a Roman-affiliated physician today.

REFERENCES:

  • Whitley RJ. Herpesviruses. Medical Microbiology. 4th edition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK8157/. Published January 1, 1996. Accessed March 26, 2019.
  • Herpes simplex virus. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus. Published January 31, 2017. Accessed March 18, 2019.
  • WHO Guidelines for the Treatment of Genital Herpes Simplex Virus. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/250693/9789241549875-eng.pdf?sequence=11. Published 2016. Accessed April 4, 2019.
  • Opstelten W, Neven AK, Eekhof J. Treatment and prevention of herpes labialis. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2602638/. Published December 2008. Accessed April 4, 2019.

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