Like all viruses, the herpes viruses undergo a cycle of growth. Therefore what impedes a viral infection? The virus’ growth cycle is halted by the natural immune system of your body. Your immune system discharges antibodies (proteins), which you may have heard of in the past.
The antibodies work in cooperation with other cells called macrophages and lymphocytes to latch on to the viral particles and inactivate them. Note that they do not get rid of them or destroy them, but they only inactivate them.
Why There is No Cure for the Herpes Viruses
A strong immune system will destroy the active viral particles and wipe out the infected and sick cells and enable for fresh and healthy cells to develop. So why does this not cure you of herpes? Why does our body not develop immunity to herpes? Have you ever thought of why you do not become resistant to the common cold? It is somewhat the same thing.
Perhaps, you can be shocked to learn that you do actually develop a herpes virus immunity. As stated above, the immune system of a healthy individual will strike down the virus and inactivate it. Next, it all gets somewhat trickier. Researchers are not entirely clear on just how all this works but essentially; the herpes virus goes through a latent phase, which is a hibernation state basically.
The Virus Remains at Dormant Stage
The virus will normally remain in a dormant stage until something arrives to activate it again. The virus stays inactive in the nerve cells, not in the dermal cells, where usually the signs of infection appear. When something sparks off the nerve and activates the virus, it’ll travel down the nerve cells to the area where it initially infected (like the lips or the genitals) and will start attacking strong cells again. The virus has “inside tricks” or migrating from one cell to another rather than developing within a cell and then erupting out of it.
Because it remains within the cell, this makes it difficult for antibodies to destroy it, which is the reason it stays in the body. This is why the herpes simplex virus has currently no vaccine. A healthy and strong immune system can aid to suppress the herpes virus, so it doesn’t reactivate, but there’s presently no way to free the body of it entirely because it “creeps” or hides in the cells of the body.
We will discuss more in this article the immune system as well as the treatments for the infection and methods to prevent outbreaks and recurrences. There are new studies being conducted to analyze how the virus reacts within the body as well as ways to prevent passing it on to others. Also, there is regular work being conducted to attempt to locate a cure for the condition.
Today, there are medications that can aid to suppress the outbreaks and aid to lower your odds of transmitting it to a partner. On the other hand, at this moment, abstinence is the single 100% guaranteed way that you won’t spread genital herpes to someone.