Clinical trial testing genital herpes vaccine

August 17, 2012 4:55:50 PM PDT
There is new hope for people who suffer from genital herpes. A new vaccine is being tested in Houston.

If it works, it could stop the outbreaks and literally put the herpes virus in remission.

Meigan has suffered with genital herpes outbreaks for years and it caused heartache in another way.

"My husband was very accepting and we didn't have any issues with it until I ended up giving it to him," she said.

He had a mild case but she was devastated. Debbie has had genital herpes for 15 years.

"I've had it for a long time now, I've had it for 15 years now. And uh it's embarrassing and it's not fun to have," she said.

But this experimental vaccine, stored in a freezer at 80 below, may change her life.

Debbie's the first in the world to get the shot in the new herpes vaccine trial at the Center for Clinical Studies. And she's hoping its the real drug and not a placebo because she'd like to put her herpes in permanent remission.

"I was just happy, I was just very happy. And I hope it works and I hope I get it," she said.

Patients get a series of three shots in this blinded study, and they aren't told if they got the vaccine or not.

"It's based on studies of people who were exposed to the virus and didn't get infected and so the idea is these three shots will boost the immunity such that people don't have outbreaks in the future," said Dr. Stephen Tyring with the vaccine study.

And Dr. Tyring says researchers believe it may also prevent people from spreading the virus.

"It would mean I would not have to take a medication every day and that would be wonderful," Meigan said.

"It would be a great thing as far in general for everybody, not just for myself," said Valarie, another herpes vaccine study patient.


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