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Elizabeth Boskey, Ph.D.

Think it Through

By January 4, 2013

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It always infuriates me when someone sends me a press release for the latest fake herpes cure. If there was a real cure for herpes, I'd be thrilled to see it. However, there isn't, and it's heartbreaking to realize how easy it is for these companies to make money by preying on stigma and insecurity. Many people infected with genital herpes are both desperate for help and reluctant to talk about their problems with a doctor. This puts traditional suppressive therapies out of reach, and in any event, the (realistic) notion of suppressing outbreaks isn't nearly as attractive to most people as the ideal of ending them completely.

That said, what I find truly frustrating is how many people sincerely believe that if scientists had developed a herpes cure, they might be hiding it from the market... and that researchers don't care enough about the virus to bother looking for medications that can help. Neither one of these things is true. There wouldn't be any benefit to it. Not only would the person who invented a cure for herpes make a fortune, given the huge proportion of the population affected by the virus, they'd probably win the Nobel Prize.

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