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Is There Any Evidence That Resolve Herpes is a Herpes Cure?

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Updated February 03, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: Is There Any Evidence That Resolve Herpes is a Herpes Cure?
Recently, a young woman wrote to me asking if I knew anything about the Resolve Herpes cure. She said she thought it sounded like a scam, but the claims were so wonderful that she couldn't help but hope that they were true and the medication was really a genital herpes cure.
Answer:

What is Resolve Herpes? The Resolve Herpes website claims that if you take their product (which appears identical to the product they are marketing to Resolve Arthritis), your body will become herpes virus free - and that you will be able to test for this 90 days after finishing the treatment.

Although Resolve Herpes is clearly trying to market their product as a way to cure herpes, they are very careful to only imply that their product is a herpes cure, without ever saying it. Why? To quote their own website:

ResolveHerpes is an all-natural product that has not undergone the immensely expensive and time-consuming process of obtaining FDA approval as a "drug." So, like so many other all-natural products, ResolveHerpes is prohibited from claiming that it can "diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease."

That's fortunate because there is no evidence that this product works. The company told me both by phone and e-mail that they have no peer reviewed research to support their website claims. They stated that they intend to publish a book about the product, but, unlike with research papers, in a book there is no review process to see if claims are supported.

Based on the current lack of evidence, I can comfortably state:

  1. There is no evidence that Resolve Herpes works.
  2. There is no reason why a "detox" treatment should be able to cure herpes.
  3. Even if a mineral treatment did boost the immune system it would not cure herpes. Many people with healthy immune systems are infected with herpes. Their immune system may help keep their herpes infection under control and reduce the number of outbreaks, but it does not cure their disease. Right now, doctors believe that once you are infected with herpes, you are infected for life.

As for Resolve Herpes' "money back guarantee," the company's site contains restrictions that make it unlikely that anyone could ever qualify to receive a refund. For example, a specific test that is non-standard and not usually ordered by a physician must be taken before the treatment is started, and there is only a 10 day window in which a follow-up test will be accepted. Even if you manage to jump through all their hoops, they state that they can change or revoke the guarantee at any time without notice.

I doubt many people who purchase Resolve Herpes apply for the guarantee... or get or believe the results of their second test. The fact is that most people infected with genital herpes will have fewer and fewer outbreaks over time, even if they do nothing. There are people who have continued outbreaks over time, but the company has an answer for dealing with that too. The e-mail they sent me and their FAQ both state that people who have had many outbreaks (i.e individuals who continue to have regular outbreaks over time, as compared to those individuals who have an initial outbreak with few if any sporadic follow-up outbreaks) may need multiple detox sessions for the "herpes cure" to work. In other words? They claim that the only people Resolve Herpes would improve symptoms in are those people who would be getting better over time anyway.

People who want to believe that this medication can cure them will find a way to do so. I have read many posts from people desperately hoping for a herpes cure; these are people who look for any evidence at all that the claims could be true, while ignoring any evidence that it is not. Standard herpes antibody tests look at IgG - for which you will be positive indefinitely once you have been exposed. They are not a marker that shows the state of an infection. It is possible to have a false positive test, but that is not the same as being cured. Still, for people who desperately want their money not to have been wasted and their disease to be cured, natural fluctuation in tested antibody levels over time may be seen as progress. However, antibody levels were never designed to be read as absolute numbers. There is too much variation from test to test, even without taking into consideration the natural fluctuations within the body as viral activity waxes and wanes.

The Resolve Herpes advertisements imply it is a surefire cure for genital herpes, but there is no data to support its claim. Currently there is no herpes cure available. The lack of evidence suggests that Resolve Herpes is just looking for money and preying on hope with no real likelihood of doing anything for health. In my opinion, you should save your 300+ dollars.

One day there may be a cure for herpes, but right now your best bet is to focus on managing the virus and figuring out the best way to live with your disease. If you have frequent outbreaks, supressive therapy may be a good option, but if you really want to spend $300 on a more "natural" treatment consider using it to pay for yoga classes or some other stress-busting technique. There is actually a reasonable amount of peer-reviewed evidence suggesting that stress can make herpes outbreaks worse, and lowering your stress level would probably be a good idea even if it didn't help you manage your infection.

Sources:
Chida Y, Mao X. (2009) "Does psychosocial stress predict symptomatic herpes simplex virus recurrence? A meta-analytic investigation on prospective studies." Brain Behav Immun. 2009 May 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Goldmeier D, Garvey L, Barton S. (2009) "Does chronic stress lead to increased rates of recurrences of genital herpes--a review of the psychoneuroimmunological evidence?" Int J STD AIDS. 9(6):359-62.


E-mail from ResolveHerpes Team (info@resolveherpes.com) received on 8/4/09 at 1:55 AM EST

Phone Call from ResolveHerpes Team received on 8/5/09 at 3:11 PM EST

ResolveHerpes Frequently Asked Questions Page http://www.resolveherpes.com/faq/ (Accessed 8/7/09)

Note: The Resolve Herpes representative I spoke to made an unverifiable claim that there would be an article about their product in the New England Medical Journal (by which I assume he meant NEJM) in September 2009. If such an article does appear, which seems unlikely, I will revise this piece accordingly.

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