According to one research group associated with a term life insurance quotes company, the body’s immune system is powerless to remove the herpes virus. Rather, the latent viruses live and reproduce in neural ganglion for the life of the patient. However, the body does produce antibodies specific to the particular herpes virus causing the infection, and these antibodies can suppress secondary infection by the same virus. HSV-1 is the more virulent form of the disease. Victims of the HSV-2 virus may not even exhibit symptoms.
Prevention of herpes involves the use of antivirals and/or condoms, and abstinence during periods of outbreak. Women are more likely to acquire HSV-2 genital herpes from men than men are from women. Antivirals can cut transmission of the disease by half, and can lessen symptoms in the primary victim’s partners. Condoms also cut infection rates by about half and are more effective in preventing male to female transmission than the reverse. Combining antiviral and condom usage results in a 75% reduction in risk of transmission.
While there is still no true herpes vaccine or method to eradicate herpes virus from the body, antiviral vaccines such as Herpevac, ACAM-529, ImmunoVEX, and ICP0 may prove to reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of outbreaks. Vaccines against herpes are currently undergoing trials. So far, results have been mixed, but newer drugs have shown promising results in animal studies.