Best herpes treatments blog
This herpes blog gives the latest herpes news and updates at Best-Herpes-Treatments.com, the website that tells you everything about cold sore and herpes treatment, herbs and natural herpes remedies
Welcome to Best-Herpes-Treatments.com herpes blog. This blog is designed to show you what is happening at Best Herpes Treatments .com and also to share herpes treatment news.
If you want information and guidelines on natural herpes remedies that can help you stop genital herpes symptoms in 3 days without reaching blister stage, I recommend you read Herpes Wise. The information in this book has helped me remain herpes symptoms free for more than 6 years now. Visit Herpes Wise now.
Oct 08, 2012
Smart technology could lead to improved herpes treatment
A scientific research team from John Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD) has come up with a very smart way of delivering herpes and other treatments topically.
Certain surfaces of the body, like the eyes, the lungs and the genital tract are protected by a mucous layer which is nature’s way of keeping out many infections. But the downside of this natural protection is that when medicines are administered topically to mucosal surfaces, the layer of mucous also prevents the drug from penetrating adequately.
Nanoparticles within a conventional topically applied vaginal gel, for example, will adhere to the mucous coating of the vaginal walls and although some of the active ingredient may work, the mucous is constantly replaced, so that most of the drug is effectively “washed away” and therefore ineffective.
The John Hopkins Team has developed mucous penetrating (nano) particles (MPPs) which mimic the effect of viruses such as HSV-2, which can penetrate the mucous walls easily. Laboratory tests using this innovative technology were carried out on herpes infected mice.
Researcher and director of John Hopkins Center for Nanomedecine, Justin Hanes explained that as the means of delivering drugs through the mucous membranes is so effective, a ten-fold weaker drug dose was able to “continue to supply drug for at least a day and provide nearly 100 percent coverage of the mucosal surface of the vagina and ectocervix” in the mice.
Fellow researcher Laura Ensign commented: “We’ve shown that mucus-penetrating particles are safe for vaginal administration in mice. Our next move will be to show that they are safe … in humans.”
She added that the technology could lead to a once-daily treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, contraception and the treatment of cervo-vaginal disorders.
Sep 03, 2012
Herpes Drugs: GSK Subjected to the Largest Fine Ever
British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), manufacturer of herpes drugs Zovirax and Valtrex has been subjected to the largest fine ever imposed on a drugs company.
Among GSK’s many products are Wellbutrin, an anti-depressant and Avandia, used in the treatment of diabetes. In a lawsuit involving ten of the company’s drugs, GSK admitted withholding important safety information about Avandia from the Food and DrugAdministration (FDA).
Earlier, severe concerns had been expressed about the drug both in the United States and in Europe, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended its withdrawal from the market as long ago as 2010.
GSK further admitted bribing physicians to prescribe Wellbutrin for unauthorized use, including the treatment of children. Attorney Carmin Ortiz explained GSK’s conduct in stark terms: “The sales force bribed physicians to prescribe GSK products using every imaginable form of high-priced entertainment, from Hawaiian vacations [to] paying doctors millions of dollars to go on speaking tours, to tickets to Madonna concerts.”
We’ll never know how much harm was done by withholding information about the risks involved in prescribing Avandia to certain vulnerable patients. We’ll never know if prescribing a potent ant-depressant to children will cause lifelong psychiatric and psychological damage.
We do know that the company was fined a record $3bn. In February 2012, GSK announced that its profits for 2011 amounted to nearly $9bn.
Worldwide, pharmaceuticals are one of the fastest growing and most profitable areas of business. A fine, albeit of record proportions, will have minimal impact. What is needed is real justice for the people damaged by the criminal behavior of those responsible.
If you or I were to purposefully or recklessly cause death or psychological damage to a child or a vulnerable person, we would go to prison. When will the US justice system catch up with the facts?
Aug 21, 2012
Homeopathy Could Be an Effective Herpes Treatment
Regular readers of my blog will know that I am sometimes critical of the power wielded by pharmaceutical companies when it comes to the selective funding of research projects. The simple truth is that promoting a particular company’s drug will increase the value of shares in that company and produce greater profit. That’s the way the market works, and relevant and much-needed research sometimes has to take a back seat to big bucks.
Two of the world’s top ten pharmaceutical companies (by revenue, March 2010) are based in Switzerland. You could be forgiven, therefore, for assuming that a Swiss government report into homeopathic medicines, published at the end of 2011 and now available in English*, would come down heavily on the side of conventional medicines.
The report, the most extensive and comprehensive ever produced by a government, concludes that homeopathic treatments are both effective and cost-effective and that the costs of such treatments, where appropriate, should be reimbursed by the Swiss national health insurance program.
Well, as a personal advocate and very strong believer in the power of homeopathic medicine, I say three loud cheers for the Swiss government for finally taking homeopathy seriously and making this very important, forward-looking move. I hope other governments in other countries will look at this very seriously.
So far as herpes is concerned, Herpes Antidote gives you clear and precise information on how to use homeopathy to treat herpes and keep it at bay.
* Bornhoft, Gudrun, and Matthiessen, Peter F. Homeopathy in Healthcare: Effectiveness, Appropriateness, Safety, Costs. Goslar, Germany: Springer, 2011
Jul 20, 2012
Herpes vaccine: Genocea moves to clinical trial stage
Less than a year after announcing the acceleration of its program, Genocea Biosciences has announced it is ready for clinical trials of its T-cell herpes vaccine.
The trial, starting in the third quarter of 2012, will involve 150 people with HSV-2 infection, but otherwise in good health. Primarily aimed at measuring safety and immune response, the trial will also examine shedding and the presence duration and severity of lesions.
The move to first stage human trial represents five years of research into T cell technology, in conjunction with the University of California at Berkeley and the Harvard Medical School’s program ATLAS (AnTigen Lead Acquisition System).
Genocea CEO Chip Clark said: “…we now have five vaccines in the pipeline, and that is a lot for a small company. We created these to show the versatility of the platform, and we have two vaccines against HSV-2, and vaccines against bacteria (Chlamydia trachomatis and Streptococcus pneumoniae) and protozoa (Plasmodium falciparum; malaria) …we feel that ATLAS gives us a comparative advantage.”
According to Genocea’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Seth Hetherington, data from this trial should be available during the first quarter of 2013.
Jul 06, 2012
Herpes and Other Stds: Controversial approval for HIV preventive drug
Unpleasant and often dangerous side-effects of drugs used in the treatment of serious diseases are well-documented. Patients and clinicians often have the tremendously difficult task of weighing the side-effects of a drug against its efficiency before deciding whether or not to pursue a course of treatment.
So would you recommend prescribing a drug whose known side-effects include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, appetite loss, diarrhea, liver and kidney toxicity to a patient who was perfectly healthy?
That is the controversial decision taken by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the case of the HIV drug Truvada. The drug, already approved for the treatment of AIDS in conjunction with other drugs, does not rid the body of HIV but rather inhibits its replication in the body. Now the FDA has approved the drug as a preventive measure for uninfected men who have sex with men, for an uninfected person whose sexual partner is HIV positive and (most controversially) for individuals who engage in “risky sexual behavior” which could result in HIV infection.
The 22-strong FDA committee heard representations from over 40 healthcare professionals, AIDS advocates and patients, most of whom advised strongly against the drug’s approval. But after assessing data from studies conducted inBotswanaandKenya, they came down on the side of approval, though not unanimously.
Supporters of the decision included Kirk Myers, CEO of Abounding Prosperity Inc and himself HIV-positive, who said: “People need to be given the option to choose. This drug is wanted.”
But Robert Elliott, a registered nurse, stated: “There is no question that, if efforts on using [Truvada] are widespread, condom use and other means of preventing HIV infection will decrease.”
Michael Weinstein, president and founder of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation described Truvada’s approval as a preventive measure a “reckless act”.
AIDS activist Miki Jackson said: “To knowingly recommend a drug as powerful as Truvada with such serious side-effects and given to people who are perfectly healthy is frightening.” adding that giving the drug approval was “akin to issuing an engraved invitation for lawsuits.”
Jun 21, 2012
Herpes Remedies: Vinegar for health & herpes
Ever wondered how vinegar came about? The clue is in the name. In French it’s a compound of two words, “vin” and “aigre”, meaning “sour wine.” About a thousand years ago someone somewhere forgot some wine and let it go sour. The resultant liquid was found to be good as a preservative or seasoning and over the centuries it’s been found to have health benefits, too.
Although vinegar was initially produced from wine, it can be produced by letting air get to just about anything containing a combination of alcohol and sugar. Today’s vinegars can be made from wine, fruits, and grains and can even be produced synthetically from petrochemicals.
But the vinegar I want to talk about today is very specific. It’s organic apple cider vinegar, produced from naturally grown apples. Many people recommend this taken orally (just two teaspoonfuls each day) to help weight loss and a variety of ailments. For me it is an essential part of keeping herpes symptoms at bay and one of the most important pieces of equipment in my “herpes toolbox”. Not only can you take cider vinegar orally but if you do have herpes blisters, you can apply it (diluted because it can be harsh on the skin) as regularly as you can to help ease the pain and discomfort as well as speeding up the healing process.
You can try applying cider vinegar neat to a blister for about five minutes, but you should never apply it without dilution to an open sore. If you take cider vinegar orally, you can dilute two teaspoons in a glass of water to take away the harshness of the taste.
Please remember that this advice applies to ORGANIC CIDER VINEGAR. Other vinegars do not have the same effect, and synthetic vinegars can be positively harmful to your health.
Jun 14, 2012
Women with Herpes: Underarm Deodorant and Women’s Hormonal Balance
Time and again I have seen women battling against herpes in the days before and during menstruation. That is why I firmly believe that a healthy hormonal balance is a key factor in herpes prevention. I remember reading a forum post where someone said that using deodorant can make herpes worse for women but I didn’t really pay attention to it. Even thought I have no concrete evidence and I don’t know if they are related, I do think that in general deodorants can adversely impact on overall health and well being. As an example, I want to summarize an article I read recently suggesting that deodorants may be responsible for cases of breast cancer.
The article reported on a study that was carried out on the levels of parabens in breast tissue. The published findings turned up some alarming statistics. The first thing to remember is that preservatives that imitate certain hormones can be found in any number of readily available hygiene and beauty products which we use every day. These include shampoos, moisturisers, toothpaste and shaving gel. The same scientists took samples from the mastectomies of women being treated for breast cancer and they found the following disturbing results:
Parabens in the breast tissue in ester form had arrived there through the skin, most probably from using underarm deodorants and beauty products.
The concentration of paraben residue was up to a million times more than the levels of estrogen usually found in breast tissue. Parabens are known to mimic estrogen, a hormone which is a proven factor in cases of breast cancer.
The highest concentration of popylparaben was found in the axilla or underarm zone – this is of course where deodorants are used most and where the prevalence of breast cancer was highest.
Other cosmetic products may also be implicated because some of the women participating in the study had never used underarm deodorants.
If cosmetic products can cause cancer just imagine what they can do to hormonal balance. Estrogen prevalence reaches both men and women and seems to become a World wide issue.
All things considered, I think that it is best to use underarm deodorant sparingly and to find other, more natural ways to reduce bodily odours. One great product which can be taken daily and is known to reduce unpleasant smells is spirulina. Spirulina has the added advantage of boosting the immune system.
Jun 12, 2012
Herpes Research: Development in treatment of ocular herpes
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc, of Tustin, CA has announced what it describes as “promising” pre-clinical data in respect of its PS-targeting antibodies, PGN632 and PGN635 for the treatment of ocular herpes infections and age-related macular disease respectively.
In modeling using rabbits, PGN632 was found to be at least as effective as current therapy in the treatment of herpes infection of the eye, with no sign of toxicity. Cyril Empig, associate director at Peregrine said: “This is the first time our antibodies have been tested against HSV-1 in an established animal model.”
“We are pleased to see the high level of interest … in this … application … and look forward to continuing collaborations … to further assess PGN632 in this … as well as other diseases caused by HSV-1 and HSV-2.”
According to the National Eye Institute herpes simplex keratitis is a leading cause of corneal disease in the United States with about 46,000 cases of HSV eye infection being reported annually.
Jun 06, 2012
British Herpes Drug Receives Limited FDA Approval
Foscavir (foscarnet sodium injection), which inhibits the replication of HSV1 and HSV2 herpes virus in vitro, has been given limited approval by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration).
Approval for the drug is restricted to the treatment of immuno-compromised patients with HIV and acyclovir-resistant mucocutaneous HSV infections as an emergency measure.
The drug comes with a warning of kidney toxicity, with renal function monitoring and hydration a necessity. There is a long list of common side-effects with this drug treatment.
It should be stressed that this drug is only for use in the case of patients who are severely ill and under constant medical supervision.
British owned Clinigen acquired the rights to Foscarnet sodium from AstroZeneca in March 2011. US distribution rights belong to Illinois based Hospira.
May 07, 2012
Herpes Foods: it’s even worse than we thought
I have read several cases where people with herpes believed artificial sweeteners, especially Aspartame make their symptoms worse.
In a recent internet article, Dr Mercola argues that the artificial sweetener Neotame may be even more harmful than aspartame. That’s a powerful claim. Aspartame has been associated with harmful neurological effects from dizziness and unsteadiness right up to epilepsy and severe tremors. My advice about aspartame, like Dr Mercola’s is this. Leave it alone!
So what about Neotame? It’s been approved by the FDA, and its makers, Nutrasweet, a subsidiary of Monsanto, claim that because it is up to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar the tiny amount needed to sweeten products means that any toxicity is reduced to an absolute minimum
The FDA gave this product approval as long ago as 2002, even though the European Union, Norway, India and Israel played safe and did not approve it until eight years later.
Mercola sites an apparently unhealthy relationship between the FDA and ex Monsanto executives casting doubt on the impartiality of the former over the latter
So is Neotame a safe and effective substitute for sugar and harmful sweeteners – or just a money-spinning Monsanto alternative? : “Over 100 scientific studies were done to establish the safety on neotame. A comprehensive battery of safety studies in animals and humans demonstrated no adverse effects from neotame.”
Mercola claims: “Neotame is like aspartame on steroids..”
I say that so long as there are genuine organic alternatives to sugar, why take any risks? I recommend you give all artificial sweeteners a wide berth if you want to be sure of avoiding any nasty incidental side-effects.
Dr Mercola often recommends Stevia extracts instead. Natural stevia extract may have a bitter taste if you use too much of it but it’s usually much better than artificial sweeteners. Also, I like to drink licorice tea. It just tastes naturally sweet and does not contain any form of sugar. What’s more, it contains an acid that is known to fight herpes.
Apr 26, 2012
Herpes Diet: Coffee, Stress – and a Little Red Bug
There’s something “bugging” the vegetarian and vegan coffee drinking community right now…
My advice to anyone who is unfortunate enough to suffer regular herpes outbreaks has always been to cut coffee out of their diet. Caffeine in coffee drives up stress levels, or at least when combined with everyday work stress, throws the body’s stress-related hormones into overdrive producing the same effect as extreme stress.
In a 1999 Duke University Medical Center (Durham NC) survey, Prof. James Lane explained: “Moderate caffeine consumption makes a person react like he/she is having a very stressful day. If you combine the effects of real stress with the artificial boost in stress hormones that comes from caffeine, then you have compounded the effects considerably.”
As if that weren’t enough reason for you to at least re-consider your daily coffee allowance, Starbucks recently raised stress levels in the vegan community into the stratosphere when it was revealed that the red coloring in its Strawberries and Créme Frappucino, made with soya milk and boldly advertised as “vegan friendly” is none other than cochineal – a product extracted from an insect found in South and Central America!
Co-founder of thisdishisvegetarian.com, Daelyn Fortney is urging Starbucks to revert to a natural red coloring such as beetroot and Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) sardonically suggests that they could consider using strawberries as natural coloring.
On March 30, Starbucks issued a statement saying they were: “reviewing alternative natural ingredients” and later CEO Howard Schulz confirmed: “We probably will reformulate [the beverage]. We’re going to make the right decision.”
My final word? Vegetarian, Vegan or not, if you’re suffering regular herpes outbreaks – just give all coffee a wide berth, especially if you’re prone to stress.
To learn more about which foods to eat to prevent herpes, please read my article on herpes diet
Apr 23, 2012
Vaginal Herpes: What Women Should Know about Genital Herpes?
Vaginal herpes causes unpleasant symptoms like itchiness, blisters and sores. It can be very mild or quite debilitating. Genital herpes becomes a concern when it affects the vagina during pregnancy
Apr 10, 2012
Herpes virus and the decline of coral
We know that herpes can and does affect our lives in many ways. From an unwelcome but controlled condition to a waking nightmare, it’s something we cannot ignore.
But we don’t really take much account of the herpes virus in relation to the rest of the living world. Now science is telling us that perhaps we should. It has been known for several years that the world’s coral resources are diminishing fast. In the Caribbean Sea, the presence of coral has fallen by around 80 percent in the past three to four decades, while in the rest of the world around a third of all coral is under threat of extinction.
Many factors, including human abuse and neglect of coral reefs, have been pinpointed as a cause for this rapid decline, but in recent years, research has centered on diseases which could be killing the coral.
Now Rebecca Vega-Thurber, assistant professor of microbiology at Oregon State University has discovered that a type of herpes virus is present in a large amount of coral. It seems that herpes-like viral sequences occurred in coral after episodes of stress.
A review of Prof. Vega-Thurber’s findings is published in The Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. The findings suggest that viral infections, notably herpes, may be responsible in part for the decline of coral reserves worldwide.
But the professor qualifies her research, explaining: “Just because you harbor a virus doesn’t mean you are getting sick from it. This is part of what we have to pin down with further research.”
Apr 05, 2012
Herpes Diet: Spirulina – The latest "Superfood"?
In case you’ve not heard of Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis), it’s a blue/green algae found in fresh water sources and it thrives in sunny, pesticide free environments. It is a highly effective antioxidant, providing protein, iron and magnesium.
Research from 1993 by the Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University in Japan found that Spirulina also had selective inhibiting effects on herpes simplex HSV-1 in infected hamsters.
The AARP (American Association for Retired Persons) ranks Spirulina as the number one “super food” for extending lifespan and the United Nations recognises it as a significant weapon in the fight against malnutrition.
But perhaps the most interesting and significant research into Spirulina has been in the treatment of radiation sickness. Both Chinese and Belarusian research (following the 1986 Chernobyl disaster) indicated that Spirulina was an effective treatment for children with radiation sickness.
Paradoxically, a major source of Spirulina is Japan, which itself suffered a nuclear meltdown in 2011 at the power plant in Okuma, following the devastating Tsunami. As Spirulina is, like any food, subject to contamination, it is vitally important to know the source of Spirulina if you are considering using it as a dietary supplement.
You can find out more of the benefits of Spirulina in a recent article by Dr. Mercola.
To learn more about which foods can protect you against herpes, please read my article on herpes diet
Apr 02, 2012
Herpes Transmission: What You Must Know
Herpes transmission is often the biggest concern for people with herpes. Most people get confused on how one can transmit herpes. Learn how you could give or catch herpes here.
Mar 30, 2012
Genital Herpes Vaccine: Allied Healthcare Accelerates Herpes Research
Allied Healthcare Group (Australia) has announced a revenue generating share issue of up to $AUS 6.36 million ($US 6.58 million) to advance some of its most promising research projects.
The Group has a major shareholding in Coridon, which successfully completed pre-clinical efficacy trials of an HSV-2 vaccine in October 2011. Additional funding raised by the company will enable continued trials as well as accelerating progress of Coridon’s next generation HPV vaccine – potentially a huge earner for Allied Healthcare.
Group CEO Lee Rodne said, “This will allow us to take [trials] to the next phase of development and also help in generating shareholder returns in the immediate future.”
This certainly looks like good news for herpes research as well as for investors in a slow-moving economic recovery phase.
Mar 27, 2012
Herpes Research: new drug may provide alternative HSV-2 herpes treatment
While valacyclovir has proved efficacious in the treatment of herpes symptoms for many people, for some it has proved ineffective. Drugs such as valacyclovir are in a class known as nucleoside analogues – attacking the virus in a particular way.
Dr Rachel Gordon of the Center for Clinical Studies, University of Texas, Houston, says: “[some] HSV strains have dysfunctional thymidine kinase that are immune to oral nucleoside analogues. We know that sexual transmission does occur during suppressive therapy.”
In other words, there are strains of HSV-2 genital herpes which appear to be effectively immune to treatment with valacyclovir.
Dr Gordon and her research team have just completed clinical trials of a new approach to tackling HSV-2, known in its development stage as ASP2151. The trials involved 695 adults with recurrent symptoms of genital herpes. Participants were taken off any existing medication and had to experience at least four episodes of genital herpes in the year prior to the commencement of the trial, at least the last of which had to be untreated with any suppressive therapy.
They were then randomly treated with either a placebo, valacyclovir 500mg twice daily or ASP2151 in doses of 100mg, 200mg, 400mg or 1,200mg. Genital swabs were obtained within six hours of the recurrence of lesions, after which suppressive therapy (or placebo) was administered. Viral testing and blood sampling was then performed at regular intervals.
Sample patients were 70% female and with an average age of 40 years. Half of participants were positive for HSV-2 alone and half for both HSV-2 and HSV-1.
In terms of healing times, both valacyclovir and ASP2151 were more effective than the placebo and high dose (1,200mg) ASP2151 produced marginally faster median healing time than valacyclovir. Overall results showed a similar efficacy between the two treatments.
There were no significant side-effects reported with ASP2151; minor effects reported were headache, nausea and dizziness.
It seems that although the effectiveness of ASP2151 and valacyclovir are much the same, they provide different methods of attacking the same problem, so that if a strain of HSV-2 appears resistant to valacyclovir then there could be (depending on final trials) an alternative weapon in the pharmaceutical armory.
Mar 21, 2012
Genital Herpes Transmission: How is the Virus Transmitted and how you can Preven
Learn how to prevent genital herpes transmission whether you’re the one with herpes or the one afraid of catching herpes
Mar 15, 2012
Herpes Transmission LA Porn Studios told – use condoms or we close you down!
The mayor of Los Angeles has passed into law a requirement for performers in the pornographic film industry to make use of condoms on set. The law represents a victory for LA based Aids Healthcare Foundation, which has been fighting porn producers over the issue for the past six years.
Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) which champions freedom from censorship says: “We are in favor of choice and against government regulating sexual behavior between consenting adults. The public is tired of the government intruding in their lives and their bedrooms, real or fantasy.”
The FSC currently endorses a self-regulating regime of testing performers for sexually transmitted infections every thirty days, but although performers with gonorrhea, Chlamydia and certain other diseases are disqualified from working until they are clear, the scheme does not test for HSV-2 genital herpes.
Former porn actor Derrick Burts, who is HIV positive, says: “Herpes comes with the job. Everyone gets it.” He claims: “Testing is a broken system. It does not protect the performer; it only notifies the performer of what they have.”
The Aids Healthcare Foundation claims that since 2004, the porn industry has produced ten cases of HIV and more than four thousand cases of gonorrhea and Chlamydia. AHF President, Michael Weinstein told The Independent newspaper: “We don’t want Nike shoes made by child labor or workers dying on construction sites, so why would we want to sacrifice adult performers on the altar of the porn industry?”
Burts says that porn actors feel powerless and are confronted with film producers who will simply refuse to employ actors who wish to use condoms. Porn producers, in turn, fear their sales will dip if condom use is mandated as the public, according to producer/director Stevie Glasser, is “condom-phobic”.
Glasser believes that adult movie makers will quit Los Angeles in the wake of this legislation, heading for a location where the use of condoms is not compulsory. But as of right now any Los Angeles studio failing to comply with the law will be closed down and their license revoked.
Mar 07, 2012
Herpes Transmission: New Findings about HSV-2 Herpes Shedding
For some time now successive clinical trials involving both standard and high dose treatment with acyclovir and valacyclovir have shown promising results in the treatment of herpes HSV-2 infection.
But now research headed by Dr Christine Johnston of the Department of Medicine, University of Washington has thrown up a question which is yet to be answered.
Even when acyclovir and valacyclovir are administered at high dose, asymptomatic shedding of the virus is not prevented. What this means is that although patients treated with the antiviral therapy show markedly less sign of lesions, they may still be shedding the virus, accounting for continuing high infection levels.
This doesn’t mean that the use of acyclovir and valacyclovir is of no use. The drugs are highly effective at alleviating symptoms and the risk of cross-infection is reduced by approximately 48% as against patients not using the drug. But this is still regarded as a disappointment in the battle against HSV-2 and the continuing spread of the disease.
The study’s authors comment: “The discrepancy between potent suppression of clinical symptoms and failure of antiviral agents to fully prevent HSV transmission is not well understood.”
The trial comprised 90 patients who were HSV-2 positive but HIV negative. Different sections of this group were administered either:
- Acyclovir 400mg twice daily (standard dose)
- Valacyclovir 500mg daily (standard dose) with acyclovir 800mg three times daily (high dose)
- No medication
All three sections experienced all three treatments over periods of four to seven weeks with a one week “washout” period in between each, so that over the period of the trial, all participants had received identical treatment. Genital swabs were collected four times daily from each participant.
Interpretation of the test results showed that short bursts of genital HSV-2 viral shedding were present in all patients, including those on high-dose medication.
Commenting on the results of Dr Johnston’s study, Dr Philippe Van de Perre and Dr Nicolas Nagot of the University of Montpellier (France) said that these findings: “should encourage patients to use condoms and adopt safe sex practices, especially since increase of the treatment dose would not further reduce the risk of transmission to patients’ partners.”
Mar 02, 2012
A New Herpes Vaccine Soon? Vaxfectin expected to move to Clinical Trial phase
There is excitement surrounding Vaxfectin, an innovative HSV-2 inhibiting vaccine under development by Vical Incorporated of San Diego CA.
Earlier this month, Vical’s President and CEO, Vijay Samant announced that in pre-clinical trials of the vaccine, Vaxfectin was shown to provide: “complete protection in guinea pigs against both primary and recurrent HSV-2 disease.” Describing Vaxfectin as one of Vical’s “most exciting developments”, Mr Samant went on to announce that the company was ready to embark on a Phase 1/2 “proof of concept” clinical trial at the earliest opportunity.
Such a trial, if approved, would involve a relatively small number of HSV-2 positive volunteers with a history of recurring genital lesions. The timing and severity of herpes outbreaks would be carefully monitored over a set period of time before Vaxfectin or a placebo were administered. After administration of Vaxfectin or placebo, each patient would continue to be monitored over another defined period, thus providing their own control.
Mr Samant envisages that this initial trial will commence during 2012 and, if successful, will lead into a large safety and efficacy study with a large degree of confidence. He said: “An effective therapeutic vaccine for Herpes Simplex 2 will serve a large and highly motivated market and could generate peak annual sales of more than a billion dollars.”
Feb 24, 2012
Living with Herpes: Health Benefits of Yoga
Did you ever utter the expression “This job/relationship/situation is killing me!”? Well if you’re anything like me I would be very surprised if you hadn’t said it or something very like it at some stage in your life.
But just how true could that even be? We all tend to exaggerate from time to time and of course all of life’s little ups and downs aren’t going to be the end of us. But it is true that stress, in its extreme form, can be very harmful physically. So is there anything we can do about this without reaching for the meds cabinet? Sure there is. It’s simple, it’s been around for centuries and Eastern civilizations swear by its efficacy. It’s called yoga.
Apart from a documented ability to reduce stress, health benefits of yoga listed by Meredith Walker in nursingdegree.net include:
Lower blood pressure, improved circulation, higher pain tolerance and a better controlled metabolism, making it easier to lose weight and control hunger.
I found an interesting article about yoga by Kathy Smith here. You may want to take a look.
If Yoga doesn’t appeal to you, you can still get some of its benefit by starting a daily meditation routine. I have used meditation and visualization to both improve my health and lower my stress levels with great success. I also love using some other stress relieving techniques like EFT which is featured in Herpes Antidote, the program I have used to remain outbreak free for 9 years now.
Feb 17, 2012
Herpes Diet: What are the dangers of fruit juice?
When you’re trying to combat herpes symptoms you will know by now that I advise that you never take sweet soda drinks and that you try to avoid all kinds of sugar, including fructose.
For a long time it’s been known that sweet, sugary drinks are a contributory factor in obesity, heart disease, diabetes and a host of other complaints. Even if you’re herpes-free it’s just a really good idea to avoid these drinks.
So what about fruit juices? Aren’t we told that eating five portions of fruit or vegetables each day is good practice? And isn’t a glass of fruit juice equivalent to one of those portions?
Well my advice about herpes stands. All fruit juices contain fructose, a naturally occurring sugar. Sugar consumption and herpes symptoms just don’t go well together, the first tending to “feed” the second. But what about fruit juices in general? The jury is out…
A recent article by Dr.Mercola leans on the fact that even the purest of fruit juices contain a large amount of sugar and suggests that this can be damaging in a number of ways. Indeed, research in 1997 published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American academy of pediatrics, concluded that consumption of 12 fluid ounces or more of fruit juice by young children was associated with short stature and obesity.
A more recent study (2007) led by Theresa Nicklas, pediatrician from the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX found that children who drank 100% fruit juice tended to eat more whole fruit and consume less fats and sugars than children who did not.
But the study also underlines the need for portion control, a 4oz portion (about half a cup) being a healthy option at breakfast. Dr Bob Issenman of the Canadian Pediatric Society makes the point that: “While 100 per cent fruit juice is a healthy food source, especially when consumed with a balanced breakfast, it is also high in sugar and vivid in colour, making it enticing to children as an all-day drink – and leading them to drink more than the children did in the study.”
My advice in short: Don’t drink fruit juices while on a herpes diet. When it comes to normal consumption of juices – make sure they really ARE fruit juices (many commercial brands appearing to be fruit juice contain just 10% of natural juice and are full of sugars and colourings) and limit yours or your children’s intake.
Feb 14, 2012
Herpes Drugs – Can You Trust All Doctors?
You’ll often read on these pages about various investments into drug research by giant drug companies like GlaxoSmithKline, StarPharma, Pfizer or Novartis (the list is by no means exhaustive). Make no mistake, I’m totally in favor of investment when it comes to finding new or better cures for miserable conditions like herpes.
Investment into herpes drug trials alone amounts to many millions of dollars each year, but are the pharmaceutical giants in the business of altruism? No they are not. They are in the business of profit making. It may surprise you to know that for every million dollars spent on drug research programs, nearly two million dollars is spent on promotional publicity.
For many years, drug companies have targeted medical practitioners in large and small ways. Notice that smart pen your physician uses to write prescriptions. Isn’t that the name of a drug company embossed on the side? What about that notepad – isn’t that carrying advertising for one drug or another? Like any other business, drug companies are prepared to invest money to ensure that their name is prominent in your doctor’s surgery – and that when he writes you that prescription it is for their product. If that means paying for a golfing holiday or a luxury weekend then so be it.
According to propublica.org, in the year 2009 alone, drug companies paid out over $761 million to physicians and other healthcare professionals.
Recently, however, there have been concerns voiced about the hold pharmaceutical companies have over teaching hospitals and universities. Many medical professionals are beginning to be wary of entering into a cozy relationship with one or other drug company. So have the pharmaceutical companies decided to step back? Well yes and no …
…You may be familiar with the name James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch and Chief Executive of News Corporation. You may not know however that Murdoch Jr. is also a member of GlaxoSmithKline’s Corporate Responsibility (sic) Committee.
The respected British Medical Journal recently reported that The Australian, News Corporation’s flagship Australian newspaper: “has accepted an undisclosed amount of sponsorship money from the drug industry for a series of articles on health policy.”
You may think that represents a conflict of interest, but (in the words of a famous fictitious British Prime Minister) I could not possibly comment.
Feb 06, 2012
Herpes Pain: Tylenol – Understanding the Risks
What do you reach for when the pain from a herpes outbreak or headache becomes too much to bear? Do you go for the pack marked Tylenol? Tylenol is a branded drug sold in the U.S. whose primary ingredient is acetaminophen, known as paracetamol throughout Europe and much of the world.
There is evidence to suggest that acetominophen/paracetamol is an effective drug in the management of fever and minor aches and pains. And if you sense a ‘but’ coming up, then you’re absolutely right…
… An overdose of this potent drug can KILL. The recommended dosage laid out on the pack is not for fun. It’s been known for a long time that an acute overdose is often lethal, but new research from the University of Edinburgh suggests that even a minor overdose of this stuff over a prolonged period can cause liver failure and that is exacerbated if combined with alcohol.
You may think this drug should be kept under lock and key and prescribed carefully, but in fact you can buy it over the counter in European pharmacies and in some countries, including Britain and the US, you can even buy it in your local supermarket.
I am not telling you that taking this drug is dangerous in itself, though there are alternative painkillers, both chemical and natural. But if you choose to take it, please be aware of the dangers of taking more than the prescribed dose. acetominophen/paracetamol is the largest cause of acute liver failure both in the US and the UK.
You should also be aware that this substance is present in other medicines, including some sold over the counter. It is additionally sold in Europe under the brand names Doliprane and Efferalgan and in India under the name Crocin. In China,Korea and elsewhere it is sold under local brand names. If traveling, be sure to check the ingredients of any unfamiliar analgesic by looking for its chemical name which will be shown either as acetaminophen or paracetamol.
Feb 02, 2012
Jan 26, 2012
Herpes Transmission: circumcision reduces herpes risk – but only in men
Male circumcision reduces herpes risk – but only in men.
Clinical trials in Rakai, Uganda, were set up to test the hypothesis that heterosexual HSV-2 genital herpes infection was less likely when the male partner had been circumcised. It had already been established that circumcision lessened the risk of infection with HIV in men.
In the Rakai experiment, 740 males were enrolled, 368 of whom were randomly selected for circumcision. The female partners of all the men in the experiment were tested HIV and HSV-2 negative.
Over a study period of two years it was found that the incidence of HSV-2 infection among the men who had been circumcised was significantly lower. By contrast however, the HSV-2 infection rate among their female partners was unchanged.
Considering that women are four times more likely to catch herpes than men, circumcision seems to be a healthy choice for discordant couples where the male partner is infected. However, circumcision when performed in adulthood seem to diminish sexual pleasure in some men. You can read more about this on Wikipedia
Jan 19, 2012
Herpes treatment: Weeping Fig extract inhibits herpes viruses
It’s been believed for some time that the weeping fig tree (Ficus benjamina) has held healing properties for herpes zoster (shingles) but until recently there has been little scientific evidence to back up the claim.
Now scientists at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have taken ethanol extracts from the leaf of the tree and successfully demonstrated that not only is the extract effective in combating the herpes zoster virus, but also shows good potential in inhibiting HSV-1 and HSV-2 herpes viruses.
Let’s hope this new research leads on to greater things in the future.
Jan 14, 2012
Herpes Treatment Research: Nonoviricides Inc. receives new funding
Connecticut based Nanoviricides Inc has succeeded in raising an additional $5 million in funding from Seaside88, a Florida based investment company which has previously provided Nanoviricides with $15 of funding.
Nanoviricides Inc. is pioneering a novel approach to antiviral treatment targeting multiple points of virus particles. It is currently researching this technology in tackling various viruses including herpes viruses HSV-1 and HSV-2, Hepatitis C and influenza.
Company President, Dr. Anil Diwan said “We are pleased with this…financing. [It] comes at a crucial time … [and]… will help us…to move forward with all of the drug programs in our broad pipeline.”
Jan 10, 2012
Herpes Transmission: Tenofovir gel study dropped!
Last November, one of the vaginal gels being studied for the prevention of HIV and herpes HSV transmission was dropped. It seems that one study after the other either gets dropped or return negative results. The quest for a gel that would prevent STD and herpes transmission during intercourse seems to be ridden with obstacles. Very few of such gels are still in the pipelines.
Here is a herpes article that gives more information about what is currently happening in the microbicide gel world
Jan 06, 2012
Herpes and autoimmune disease
Recent research at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Damascus University, Syria sought to establish whether there was a causal link between herpes viruses HSV-1 and HSV-2 and autoimmune thyroid disease. Viral infections have been suspected of being a trigger to autoimmune disease.
The hypothesis was unproven, but remains open to future research on a more diverse scale.
Jan 03, 2012
STD Research: Major breakthrough in hepatitis C treatment
What were the highlights of 2011 in the medical world? Well here’s a treatment breakthrough hailed recently by Dr Marvin Bittner of Creighton University (Omaha NE) as “one of the biggest advances in medicine this  year.”
Dr Bittner is referring to the use of two new drugs, Incivek (known as Incivo in Europe) and Victrelis in the fight against Hepatitis C, a debilitating liver disease which is responsible for more than 40% of liver transplants in the United States.
Whereas herpes and HIV viruses can only be treated and controlled, Hepatitis C can sometimes be eliminated, although up to now this has only been possible with treatment with the drugs interferon and ribavirin and has successfully eradicated the disease in only about 40% of patients. According to research, Incivek can help cure Hepatitis C faster, reducing the timescale from 48 weeks to 24 weeks in 75 percent of patients. This is a major improvement.
Patients taking either of these new drugs must simultaneously continue with a combined interferon and ribavirin regime, but this new multi-pronged treatment appears to eliminate Hepatitis C in 75 percent of patients when data is extracted from clinical trials.
Treatment with either Incivek or Victrelis is highly expensive, at between $25.000 and $50,000 per patient treatment, excluding the cost of interferon and ribavirin, but most US health insurance policies cover the costs, with financial assistance also offered by both manufacturing companies and Incivek manufacturer Vertex offering the drug free to any uninsured patient whose income is less than $100,000.
The treatment regime is harsh, with side effects including diarrhea, nausea, headache, rash and severe fatigue and, according to hepatitis expert Dr Mark Mailliard of the University of Nebraska, up to twenty percent of patients will not be able to tolerate the new therapy, which is unsuitable for patients with severe liver scarring or certain other medical complications.
Such an improvement in the treatment of Hepatitis C gives me hope for future medical breakthroughs related to herpes treatment. Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies keep coming up with very expensive and potentially harmful drugs that only a few can afford.
Dec 30, 2011
Herpes Transmission: Tenofovir gel could soon be available in South Africa
After two decades of painstaking research, the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal is preparing for the roll out of tenofovir vaginal anti-retroviral gel.
Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, project director at Vulindlela Rural Research Site, Caprisa (Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa) has been involved with the program from the outset. She told Durban Daily News: “Twenty years might sound a long time, but this sort of science requires painstaking input from every member of the research team. We have had to ensure that every avenue – from concept to proof – has been covered. Now that we can prove that tenofovir gel works, we are looking forward to implementing the next step.”
Tenofovir gel has been found to be effective against both HIV and HSV-2 herpes infections. An ongoing Caprisa trial seeks to confirm the very positive results of previous testing and subject to approval by the Medicine Controls Council, provision of the gel could soon be incorporated into KwaZulu-Natal’s family planning clinics.
The breakthrough has been described by the World Health Organization as one of the most significant in the fight against AIDS.
Dec 27, 2011
Would you Like to End this Year Herpes Outbreak Free?
Christmas parties, New Year’s eve and other celebrations during Holiday Season can bring their loads of stress to the immune system. Drinking, sweets, bakeries, pasteries, late nights all combined are likely to trigger a herpes outbreak.
Dec 23, 2011
Could herpes virus treat breast cancer?
When you have herpes, you think of it only as a curse, but new research indicates it may actually prove to be a blessing in disguise for women.
Research involving mice carried out at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York City) showed that a genetically modified herpes virus (known as NV1066) could have the potential to treat aggressive breast cancer.
Scientists infected breast cancer cells with the modified virus and then injected the cancer cells into mice. They discovered that 90% of the cancer cells were destroyed within one week.
It must be stressed that this is merely preliminary research and further tests will be needed to see if the treatment is safe and effective in humans. Similar research has been carried out into other forms of cancer but this is the first such study involving breast cancer.
Dec 20, 2011
STD Transmission: research trials of anal microbicide are promising
A study of a microbicide vaginal gel has shown it to be effective in the reduction of HIV infection when applied anally. Whereas it is known that anal intercourse is the main route for HIV infection among men who have sex with men, it is also true that many more women than men practice anal sex. This finding is therefore highly significant in the worldwide fight against HIV infection among both men and women.
The risk of contracting HIV is between 20 and 2,000 times higher with receptive anal sex than with receptive vaginal sex, particularly when other infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or herpes are present according to the study’s principal author, Dr. Peter Anton of the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA.
In the first part of this phase one clinical trial of the microbicide, known as UC781, a single application of the gel was applied to rectal tissue which was subsequently exposed to HIV in the laboratory. Tissue samples were taken 30 minutes after application. In the second part of the trial, participants were invited to self-administer the gel once daily for a week before returning to the clinic for another tissue sample collection.
This trial involved 36 male and female subjects who were not infected with HIV. Half were given a placebo and half a concentration of UC781. While the trial used gel formulated for vaginal use, further trials of a gel specifically designed for anal use are due to take place in the New Year.
Dr Anton commented: “…it is very gratifying that the results were so impressive. This approach reflects the kind of intensive analyses these dedicated participants … are willing to tolerate to help us evaluate a drug’s potential…”
Hopefully, these results will also be encouraging for herpes transmission in further studies.
Dec 15, 2011
Herpes Zoster – to vaccinate or not to vaccinate?
The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) currently recommends vaccination against herpes zoster (shingles) for all persons aged 60 or over as a precautionary measure against the onset of the disease. The virus causes chicken pox, largely in children, and after chickenpox symptoms have subsided, as with other herpes forms, the virus lies dormant in the body and can re-emerge as shingles in later life. People over 50 years of age are more vulnerable to shingles outbreaks and half of people living to the age of 85 will experience an episode of shingles.
So are there risks associated with the vaccine? And do the benefits of inoculation outweigh the risks of side-effects?
The CDC issues its own information sheet, in which it admits that the vaccine is only 50% effective, though there is evidence that even people who go on to contract shingles after vaccination suffer less post-herpetic neuralgia – an often excruciating pain which can last long after the visible shingles rash has disappeared. Other known side-effects, according to CDC can include redness and swelling around the site of the injection and sometimes headache, though headache and sometimes severe headache is a common symptom of the disease itself.
The biggest single long-term risk to health associated with the herpes zoster virus is corneal damage. In the United States, shingles is a major factor in corneal blindness when it affects the eye, and although most cases of shingles do not affect the eye, this is always a possibility.
As with most vaccines, there are specific incidences in which it should not be administered, these include people suffering with certain other medical conditions or having a known allergy to certain substances. These are clearly set out in the CDC guidelines and should be carefully read before any decision on vaccination is made.
Dec 09, 2011
Herpes & STDs: Alarming rises in STI infections
A report from the US Center for Disease Control(CDC) summarizes the story in stark terms: “STDs are one of the most critical health challenges facing the nation today.”
Awareness of the dangers of tobacco use has resulted in a significant decline in the incidence of lung cancer; diagnostic techniques and an understanding of diet have resulted in a decline in the rate of colorectal cancer… but have well-publicized HIV Herpes and Chlamydia campaigns had a significant effect on the increase in STDs? No, they have not.
Reported cases of Chlamydia in the United States have increased year on year for the past twenty years, reaching a staggering 1.3 million in 2010. CDC emphasizes that a major factor in this statistic is improved diagnosis, yet half of all Chlamydia cases remain undiagnosed and less than half of sexually active women take advantage of the recommended annual screening.
While treatment for many STDs improves, there is evidence that gonorrhea may be developing resistance to the only effective antibiotic; herpes infection remains at an unacceptably high level and still incurable and although the incidence of syphilis fell overall between 2009 and 2010, the incidence of the disease in black males rose by over one hundred percent.
Disparity between white, black and Hispanic communities continues, with income and social status a major factor in the incidence of sexual disease. CDC and others work with health authorities to target the most “at risk” communities, but until there are meaningful federal programs for help and prevention in this area I fear this is going to be a continuing theme of this blog for months and years to come.
Nov 30, 2011
Herpes Research: Genetic Predisposition to Herpes Infection
Researchers from the Universities of Utah and Massachusetts have successfully identified a gene which appears to regulate the frequency of HSV-1 herpes cold sore outbreaks.
The research, by Dr John D. Kriesel and colleagues, elaborated on previous research on a group of 43 large Utah families which had identified a group of six genes within chromosome 21 which were associated with HSV-1 herpes. The precise role of the gene remains unclear, but its discovery paves the way for more widespread research across a wider spectrum of the population.
The implications of this research are that future drugs may be more accurately formulated and targeted. Future studies may also determine whether this or another related gene has an association with HSV-2 genital herpes.
The propensity of genes to determine the likelihood of pediatric infectious diseases, including herpes simplex encephalitis, was initially discovered by Professor Jean-Laurent Casanova. His research findings have revolutionized medical and immunological research. In 1999, with Dr. Laurent Abel, Prof. Casanova co-founded the Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases.
This year, Prof. Casanova received the Inbev-Baillet Latour Health Prize for his pioneering work in the field, together with a research grant of 250,000 Euros.
Nov 28, 2011
Could herpes hold key to cancer cure?
Could the herpes virus HSV-1 hold the key to a cancer cure? That is the unlikely possibility which has been thrown up by research in Ohio. The research team used the virus to develop an oncolytic virus named 34.5ENVE. This engineered virus was injected into mice infected with glioblastoma, a virulent type of brain cancer in humans.
Against a control sample of infected mice injected with an older oncolytic virus, the mice treated with the altered herpes virus were tumour free after 80 days, while the control sample survived for only between 20 and 53 days.
The oncolytic virus is designed to replicate in cells with high levels of nestin, which is a protein present not only in glioblastoma, but also prostate, pancreatic and breast cancer.
Much research is still needed before it is established if the virus is safe for human trials.
Nov 23, 2011
Herpes transmission: update on tenofovir vaginal gel
Back in June of this year, Herpes News reported the accidental discovery in South Africathat a vaginal gel of 1% tenofovir, designed to inhibit HIV infection, produced a 51% reduction in HSV-2 herpes infection.
Now another joint study by Gilead Sciences Inc, (manufacturer of tenofovir), the University of Rome and the Leuven Catholic University of Belgium has produced very similar results.
Quite apart from the fact that this gel could dramatically reduce HSV-2 and HIV infections, it gives power to women to take control in situations where men have been and often continue to be reluctant to take responsibility for infection control by the use of condoms.
It remains the case that women are particularly prone to HSV-2 infection and that black women are particularly vulnerable.
Online black community magazine, BET.com reported: “not all women feel comfortable or safe demanding their male partners to use condoms. Albeit being in an abusive relationship, being economically dependent on your partner, or not feeling empowered to talk about condom use, this power dynamic definitely plays a factor in the HIV rates among Black women. The good news is that microbicides can offer women discreet protection that they control in order to protect them from HIV and herpes.”
It is not clear when tenofovir vaginal gel will be approved by the FDA for use in the United States.
Nov 15, 2011
Herpes diet: Why Organic food is so important to your health
Ever an advocate of what is fresh and natural in the world of nutrition; I always advocate the use of organic fruit and vegetables whenever that is possible. Today I want to explain why I believe that is so important to your health.
Between the years 2000 and 2009, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) carried out tests on 53 popular varieties of fruit and vegetables in the United States with a view to discovering the presence and quantity of toxins in non-organic produce available on sale. Among the alarming facts revealed was that in a sample of 700 apples, 98% contained traces of pesticides, with most containing a minimum of two types of pesticide. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirms that no less than 36 varieties of pesticide are commonly used in the commercial production of apples.
The story doesn’t begin and end with apples. Among the top ten polluted fruits and vegetables were blueberries (in spite of all the publicity about how good this fruit is for you, it came second in the top ten of polluted produce!), celery, grapes and spinach. So why are these popular and wholesome fruit and vegetables treated with toxins? The simple answer is so that they can be mass-produced as cheaply as possible. By treating crops with pesticide there is less wastage and more produce per acre.
In the twenty first century we have been conditioned into believing that most foods are cheap and plentiful. The truth is that modern farming methods can produce cheaper fruit and vegetables but that this comes at a price which you may consider too high to pay. That price is not in dollars and cents. It is in terms of your continuing good health.
You can scrub inorganic fruit and vegetables to remove some toxins. You can remove the peel – but because much goodness is found in the peel of most fruits and vegetables that is a little self-defeating. And even washed, scrubbed and peeled produce, particularly soft fruits, will have absorbed some of those toxins into their flesh.
Pesticides are designed specifically to kill living organisms – they simply cannot be healthy to ingest, and are suspected of causing cancers, hormonal imbalance and nervous system problems in humans.
I can’t and won’t pretend that organic produce isn’t dearer to buy – though you can seriously consider growing your own – but if the extra price gives you the security of knowing that your body isn’t taking in unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals, then I say it is a price worth paying.
Nov 08, 2011
Herpes Products: Vitamin supplements. Are they doing more harm than good?
Sayer Ji, founder of the website GreenMedInfo.com claims that many proprietary brands of selenium and multi-vitamin supplements are making use of an inorganic and potentially dangerous form of selenium. Pointing out that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified both sodium selenite and selenate as dangerous and toxic, he argues that their presence in vitamin supplement tablets on general sale to the public is harmful and that their continued use is permitted only to appease pharmaceutical giants who produce these supplements, such as Wyeth’s Centrum, singled out for criticism by Ji.
Ji claims: “The selenium that is found in foods like Brazil nuts, mustard seeds, and fresh produce grown in selenium-rich soil is infinitely different from the biologically inert forms being put in some multivitamins. In fact, i.e., sodium selenite/selenate can cause cancer, whereas the selenium found within food, or laboratory chelated forms like selenomethionine have all been shown to prevent and combat cancer.”
Centrum’s own website contains the statement: “Centrum vitamins are derived from synthetic source ingredients. Vitamin and mineral supplements can be “synthetic”, derived through chemical processes or “natural”, derived directly from plants or other materials. There is no evidence that the body absorbs vitamins and minerals derived from natural sources more effectively than “synthetic” vitamins and minerals.”
I always advocate the use of organic foods and supplements wherever possible. You can choose to believe what the pharmaceutical companies say or you can take the view that their wallets have more influence than their ethics.
Oct 28, 2011
Herpes Drugs: Novartis settles generic Famvir® dispute with Macleod
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation has settled a long-running dispute with Indian generic drug manufacturer Macleods Pharmaceuticals Ltd, over an alleged infringement of the former’s patent on herpes treatment Famvir®.
Judge James E. Boasberg signed a dismissal order after both sides in the dispute testified that they had come to an agreement. Details of the agreement are not currently in the public domain.
The implication is that Macleod may now produce its generic herpes drug, permitting a more affordable version of famciclovir, the generic version of Famvir® to reach a wider audience within the Indian sub-continent.
Famciclovir is indicated in the treatment and suppression of recurrent HSV-2 genital herpes as well as acute herpes zoster (shingles).
Oct 25, 2011
"Herpes? Send Him Down!"
As British interest in sentencing for crimes of violence and criminal damage is heightened by the recent riots in London,Manchesterand elsewhere, 28-year-old traffic patrol officer David Golding of the UK Highways Agency, was recently jailed last August for 14 months after admitting causing his former girlfriend Grievous Bodily Harm.
Did Golding beat her? Did he attack her with some weapon? No. Golding’s crime was to infect Cara Scott (24) with genital herpes.
Within two months of the start of their relationship, Scott was diagnosed with HSV-2 and confronted Golding, who denied responsibility, claiming he had been tested negative by a clinic where he had undergone a herpes test. This, he later admitted, was untrue.
A spokesman for Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service, which oversees all criminal prosecutions in the UK said the case was in line with its policy regarding “intentional or reckless transmission of infection” policy. But spokesman for the Herpes Viruses Association, Nigel Scott, called the sentence “outrageous”, likening it to the prosecution of children for passing chicken pox to their friends.
Dr Colm O’Mahoney of the Chester Department of Genito-Urinary Medicine commented: “Being sent to prison for passing on herpes simplex is like being sent down for ten years for a parking offence. I’m appalled.”
It is notoriously difficult to ascertain exactly how any individual contracts genital herpes without concrete evidence of dates of sexual encounters and comprehensive blood testing, so even though Golding pleaded guilty in court I’m not sure (although I have not seen all the evidence) that the case was even adequately proven.
Of course I don’t think it’s right for anyone not to disclose genital herpes to a sexual partner, but I do agree that a prison sentence like this is disproportionate to the offence, if indeed the offence was really committed. I wonder if we’ll be seeing an appeal any time soon.
Oct 21, 2011
HIV/AIDS – Thirty Years On…and Why You Should Care
Thirty years ago, it was reported that five gay men in Los Angeles were infected with a rare type of pneumonia, peculiar to patients with compromised immune systems. The world wasn’t quite ready for the epidemic that was to follow. In the intervening decades, some 750,000 Americans have lost their lives to AIDS and more than 1.1 million are known to be living with HIV.
In August 2011, the Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) released data showing that the number of HIV infections in the US had been relatively stable between 2006 and 2009 but that the incidence of infection among gay men had increased. In its recent report, the CDC admits that while recent scientific research has equipped medicine with an unprecedented number of infection-preventing methodologies, the challenges presented by HIV infection remain “daunting” with approximately 50,000 people becoming infected with AIDS each year in the United States alone.
Factors in the spread of HIV include a range of social, economic and demographic factors and the CDC’s HIV prevention strategy aims to target the most resources to the neediest communities. Currently the highest risk groups include gay and bisexual men, African Americans and Hispanics, which is not to say that heterosexual men and women of all races are not at risk, particularly intravenous drug users.
It has also been established that people infected with HSV genital herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases can be more at risk of contracting HIV because their other condition(s) compromise their immune system making them more susceptible to the HIV virus. A part of the CDC strategy therefore consists of the testing of more people in high risk communities for other sexually transmitted diseases.
By targeting and prioritizing the largest “at risk” groups in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, CDC aims to maximize the effectiveness of its strategy, stating: “To make a substantial difference in new infections, priority should be placed on interventions that are practical to implement on a large scale, at reasonable cost. More time and resource-intensive interventions….should be reserved for people at the very highest risk of transmitting or becoming infected with HIV.”
Oct 14, 2011
Herpes, The Menopause and Valerian
Today I want to talk about a hardy, summer-flowering, sweet-scented plant called Valerian. Why would I want to diversify into botany? Well although the plant can be beautiful in itself, its root can be processed into a dietary supplement known to have sedative effects.
Many women write to me saying that although they haven’t experienced a herpes outbreak for years, as they get older they once again seem to suffer regular outbreaks every couple of weeks or so. As I’ve often emphasized before, stress can be a major factor in herpes outbreaks, but so can lack of sleep, and it’s no coincidence that with the menopause comes hormonal change – often the cause of both stress and insomnia.
A recent study by the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the Universityof Medical Sciences,Tehran took a sample of 100 post menopausal women aged between 50 and 60 years who were experiencing lack of sleep. Divided randomly, half the sample was administered 530mg of concentrated valerian extract twice daily. The remaining half was delivered a placebo.
Almost one third of the women given valerian (30%) reported improved patterns of sleep, giving credence to this supplement’s efficacy in aiding sleep.
If you’re affected by sleeplessness you could consider trying a valerian supplement. Just a warning, though, of some possible side-effects you may experience. An earlier study (1991) of valerian found it could cause vivid dreams in some patients. Additionally for a very few people, valerian seems to work as a stimulant rather than an aid to sleep. Other reported side-effects of valerian use include headache, dry mouth and morning drowsiness.
If you find that valerian affects you adversely then clearly you should cease using it and in the unlikely event of more serious side-effects you should consult your physician.
In my twenties, I used valerian to help me sleep. I found it most useful when combined with hops. Hops seemed to do little on their own, but enhanced the sedative effect when combined with valerian . I find this combination most effective to prevent insomnia.
Sleep deprivation will increase your chances of experiencing herpes recurrences. That’s why I believe the temporary use of these herbs could be most useful to help you prevent herpes if you tend to suffer from mild or occasional insomnia.
Oct 04, 2011
Herpes Research: New Hope for EBV sufferers
Although the Epstein-Barr herpes virus infects about 95% of the population, it normally lies dormant for life and causes no ill effects whatsoever. But in patients with a weakened immune system, the story can be very different, and EB can lead on to cancer and other autoimmune diseases.
In spite of some dubious sites you may see on the internet offering miracle cures, as with other varieties of herpes virus, there is no cure for EB. Its symptoms may be alleviated by rest and many holistic remedies are thought to be useful. But once you have the virus, you have the virus.
Now researchers at the University of Copenhagen believe they have discovered a means of regulating one of the body’s receptors which seems to play a part in the spread of EB infection. It has been observed that when the EB virus has penetrated, an excess of a receptor known as EB12 suddenly sprouts from the surface of B cells.
So far, nobody has figured out why this happens, but whatever the reason it seems to be a part of the process of spreading the EB herpes virus. The Danish team developed a tiny molecule that they believe is capable of binding to the EB12 receptor and inhibiting the disease-spreading process.
Lead report author, Tau Benned-Jensen says: “In time this block may be able to help transplant patients. If we can restrain EB virus reproduction when the immune system is being medically suppressed, we may well be able to avoid cancer.”
Sep 28, 2011
Herpes vaccine research: Iscovena and Genocea strengthen vaccine co-operation
Vaccine adjuvant company Isconova AB and vaccine developer Genocea Biosciences have recently announced the expansion of a collaboration to develop vaccines for six infectious diseases, including HSV-2 herpes, and Chlamydia. The lead program will be that for herpes.
The new collaboration agreement allows Genocea to use Iscovena’s Matrix M TM additionally in vaccines targeting malaria and gonorrhea.
Genocea CEO Chip Clark said: “A safe and effective adjuvant that elicits strong B and T cell immune response is essential to our aim to prevent or treat the world’s most intractable infectious diseases. For that reason we are delighted to expand our collaboration with Isconova for Matrix M.”
Iscovena CEO Lena Söderström commented: “We are pleased that …Genocea has selected Isconova’s Matrix M TM for use in two additional diseases, thus confirming the strengths of our products. All the targeted diseases of the collaboration have high unmet medical needs and therefore significant commercial potential.”