The country’s fastest-growing dating site for herpes, Meet Positives, is spreading the word about the recent news report that said Moderna is developing an mRNA vaccine to treat the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV).
mRNA vaccines, one of medicine’s most bold and exciting new frontiers, work by introducing the body’s cells to a piece of mRNA corresponding to a protein, that is found on the virus, that the vaccine is targeting. The body’s cells recognize the danger that the foreign protein poses and forms an immune response in the form of antibodies that stay in the body for a long time. mRNA vaccines don’t contain the actual bacteria or virus, but instead, they only contain the mRNA fragment. This means that individuals who get an mRNA vaccine shot are not exposed to the virus and they can’t get infected. This approach to vaccine development has been regarded as revolutionary by many. Its key contributors, Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman have been profusely rewarded by many prestigious universities across the country for the innovation they sparked with their seminal research.
The COVID pandemic of 2020 was the first time that the technology was used on a grand scale to combat a serious public health crisis. The result was the creation of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines that were extraordinarily safe and effective. Moderna is now bringing those skills and the benefits of that repository of knowledge to fight the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). The only caveat is that it is not intended to be used as a treatment for those who already have the virus. However, even though it is not a cure, it is still regarded as a beacon of hope for the large swath of the population that is at risk of contracting STIs. Moderna’s vaccine candidate against the HSV-2 disease is named mRNA-1608. With mRNA-1608, Moderna Inc. says that it “aims to induce a strong antibody response with neutralizing and effector functionality combined with cell-mediated immunity.”
A spokesperson for Meet Positives commented on the development by saying, “We care deeply about every member that signs up for Meet Positives. To help them understand their affliction better and to help them cope with their emotions, if they have feelings of guilt or shame, we publish blog posts and articles regularly discussing the several STDs that our members are living with. Creating resources for understanding genital herpes, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world, has been our top priority for a long while. The rate of infection for HSV-1 (oral herpes) and HSV-2 (genital herpes) is so high that more than half the American population has oral herpes and about 1 out of 6 Americans has genital herpes. The estimates for the latter are expected to reach around 40% of the population by 2025. Given the ubiquity of the virus, along with creating resources for our valued site members, we are also constantly tracking the current advancements in medicine that aim to tackle this problem. The announcement that Moderna made in February 2022 that they have identified three new mRNA development targets, one of which is the Herpes Simplex Virus, was just the kind of news that gets us excited about the future of the fight against STDs. Early efforts to build a protein-based vaccine for herpes have failed. So, for Moderna to state their interest in pursuing this line of scientific inquiry has us intrigued and eagerly looking forward to how it pans out. Since our members are very interested in following breakthroughs like this, we will make sure to keep them updated on the story. Here at Meet Positives, we are very grateful for the progress Moderna has made with its mRNA vaccine and can’t wait for it to positively affect the lives of the millions of citizens living today under the fear of contracting herpes.”
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