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SIU scientist says his vaccine could protect against herpes

A scientist at Springfield's Southern Illinois University School of Medicine says he has developed a vaccine that could provide near-total protection against genital herpes, one of the world's most common sexually transmitted infections.

"To me, this is the future genital herpes vaccine," William Halford told The State Journal-Register last week. "It's exciting on multiple levels."

About 1 billion people - one-sixth of the world's population - are infected with herpes simplex virus-2, the most common cause of genital herpes. In the United States, an estimated 50 million people carry the virus, and up to 3 million of those people suffer recurrent outbreaks of genital herpes as often as four times a year.

Work to develop a genital herpes vaccine has gone on for decades, and millions of dollars have been spent on vaccine research, so far with a "lot of disappointment," said Fred Wyand, spokesman for the North Carolina-based American Social Health Association.
 
 

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