Hello, my name is Rich Mancuso and I have been a sufferer from HSV2 for most of my life. For many people on this planet, having herpes may not be a big deal but for people like myself, who suffer extreme cases of pain and constant discomfort, this disease is a constant burden. Whether it is physical pain inside my body or outside my body, herpes has affected my life in a very negative way. Daily activities such as walking, sitting, digesting food or even the simple idea of sleeping, was a constant nuisance.

Many people who have HSV1 or HSV2 do not know they have it - some get outbreaks infrequently and some get them all the time. Unfortunately the only option for people is anti-viral drugs. As someone who has taken these as a treatment, the side-effects and costs can be a burden. Many times I had to stop taking due to liver problems and these were the times I hated because no matter what I did - changing my diet, staying out of the sun or finding ways to relieve stress - I would still get outbreaks. It's important to know that 4 billon people have one or both forms of hsv and 100 million suffer in the worst possible way. This is not an epidemic, this is a pandemic.

This was until I met Dr. Bill Halford and his team through a mutual friend. After being asked to join the trial, reading numerous papers and blogs to solve my skepticism about a potential vaccine, I jumped at the chance to try anything. Those of us long time sufferers have spent so much money and time trying to find ways to make this "thing" go away. We tend to fail 100% of the time, but always willing to try anything new on the market, most of what are dubbed as snake oils. I agreed to join the trial.

The clinical trial was unlike any other I could have imagined. While a typical trial is in a white cold hospital room, located in a hidden away lab that smells of rubbing alcohol and pine cleaner, this trial was on a tropical island, in the most beautiful setting possible. Quite frankly It was more of a vacation than a trial. I joked with the team of the idea, I would wake up the next morning in a bathtub full of ice, missing a kidney because it seems all to good to be true. But it was true.

The trial consisted of three shots over the course of three months, and after the third shot on July 7, I noticed a significant change in my outbreaks. They disappeared. This fog that I have felt for most of my life seemed to be clearing. I was no longer in pain. No more problems walking or sitting. No more strict dietary needs of staying away from trigger foods like peanut butter, chocolate or alcohol. My digestive and acid reflux has cleared up. I don't have to worry about getting too much sun or even the worry of any stress causing me issues or outbreaks. I am the healthiest I have ever been right now and I couldn't be happier. This vaccine gave me my life back and gave me my health back.

Please view my brief interview with the CEO of Rational Vaccines on Ch2 CBS News http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/01/06/herpes-vaccine/

Please sign this petition (you can do so without fear of your friends/family seeing if you fear the stigma) to help Bill Halford have some time to speak to Congress about the importance of bringing this technology to the US:

https://www.petition2congress.com/22875/give-dr-bill-halford-moment-to-speak-to-congress-about-burden-h Petition https://www.change.org/p/rational-vaccines-hsv-vaccination-brought-to-united-states

ASK ME ANYTHING. I will do my best to answer :)

Proof that I am the man in the CBS interview http://imgur.com/a/s29Ru

Comments: 81 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

ialdabaoth47 karma

Is it weird that this whole thing reads like a bad attempt at viral marketing?

Rational-Vaxxer32 karma

Nah, it does sound pretty cheesy. My friend who helped me set this up (I'm new to Reddit) even told me that my intro sounded like an infomercial, but none of it is a lie and I'm not here looking for handouts, and it wont be on the market to purchase until it is proven effective in further studies. Just trying to spread awareness of the change.org petition that another trial participant made, and to tell my story.

Trust me, if you had sores on your dick 3x a month for 20 years and then you didn't- you'd sound pretty enthusiastic about it too lol.

Or maybe you'd do what most people would do and not tell anyone at all. My friend joked with me after the CBS interview that I'm becoming the "face of herpes," but if I'm spreading hope and awareness, that makes it worth it to me.

Hansje7773 karma

Thank you so much for sharing this info. I signed the petition. It is very important to raise awarenes about HSV1 and 2 and to support scientists like Halford!

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

Thank you for the kind words and thank you for signing the petition. Getting the word out there and trying to drum up interest is very difficult. Thank you for your help

Felonessthrowaway213 karma

When you say it worked, what do you mean by that? As far as I know this "vaccine" hasn't been shown to cure herpes, prevent herpes or prevent transmission. Your post indicates that your noticeable symptoms disappeared. Did you ever try daily valtrex? Have you been tested for asymptomatic viral shedding? Asymptomatic viral shedding has been shown cause up to 70% of Herpes transmission. So I would think it's important to figure out what your shedding rates are now after the treatment.

Rational-Vaxxer12 karma

I was on Valtrex off and on for years but had to intermittently stop because of elevated liver levels. Valtrex is not that effective but served its purpose. No tests have been done on viral shedding as of yet. Dr. Bills major concern was to help people and end their physical pain and suffering first. At this point HSV is a Pandemic and needs to be dealt with ASAP.

Rational-Vaxxer13 karma

and by worked.... I mean I no longer suffer and get outbreaks. I was getting 2 to 3 a month. I've only had one in almost 7 months. as a plus 65% of the Phase one participants have gone into complete remission.

Felonessthrowaway24 karma

are you saying that since the treatment you have had one outbreak? So it hasn't completely gotten rid of all your noticeable symptoms?

Rational-Vaxxer5 karma

I would absolutely use the word remission. Yes, no more symptoms.

Felonessthrowaway27 karma

So this is more like a "therapeutic vaccine" which is more like a treatment for Herpes not a cure or a preventive. It treats the noticeable symptoms of herpes. It's good that there may be another treatment option of herpes sufferers that doesn't require a daily pill.

Rational-Vaxxer9 karma

Well what the company is aiming for is a functional cure- as in, the virus will still be latent in one's body but unable to cause physical harm due to a drastically increased immune response.

The TheravaxHSV-2 vaccine is designed to reintroduce the body to HSV-2 in a more-controlled manner using a live-viral vaccine. This live-viral vaccine has attenuating mutations which slows the replication process of HSV-2 thereby slowing down the immune evasion strategies while simultaneously exposing the host to the full complement of HSV-2’s 75 viral proteins. As a consequence, it is the intent of the vaccine to expose the individual’s immune response to the HSV-2 proteins it may have been “missing” in order to effectively control the disease. Part of the trial is also determining proper dosage. Phase 2-3 Which is starting soon. Whether it will have the ability to eliminate shedding entirely will be determined in the future, but as of now the company's aim is to eliminate or significantly decrease physical symptoms of the disease including the under-recognized (by medical professionals) neuralgia that some herpes sufferers experience.

The company is also designing a preventative vaccine that has not been tested in humans yet but has been proven successful in animal studies. So discordant couples will hopefully have nothing to worry about in terms of transmission in the future.

Felonessthrowaway21 karma

Yes I'm aware of the goals but I'm skeptical since many other people have made the same claims and goals but never achieved them. There have been other studies and treatments that have shown what this treatment has shown; reduction in noticeable symptoms. So far this hasn't shown anything new. It will be interesting to see what happens next

Rational-Vaxxer5 karma

There are other therapeutic vaccines in the works, and some that have failed, but they are/were sub-unit vaccines, and were/are able to make marginal reductions in people's symptoms- if that. This vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine, and is proving to be a lot more effective. I understand your skepticism, which is why I'd like to share my story and hopefully get some people to sign the change.org petition to help advance this technology/further studies.

Skepticism shouldn't stop advancements in science, and testing of new technologies. Sometimes, rarely in this world, the things that sound too good to be true are actually true. In my case, this has been life changing.

Felonessthrowaway22 karma

and were/are able to make marginal reductions in people's symptoms- if that.

Actually a VZV vaccine was seen to reduce noticeable symptoms to zero in 24 patients, more than the 20 patients that were in your study


Rational-Vaxxer3 karma

Also, the VZV vaccine is live attenuated, not sub-unit.

Rational-Vaxxer2 karma

That study has proven not to be as groundbreaking as it appeared, as many herpes sufferers have tried the VZV vaccine with little or no efficacy (source:: honeycomb herpes forum threads on the vaccine). Still, there are people who try the VZV vaccine in hopes for relief.

A vaccine designed around HSV2, logically, will be far more effective than that of VZV for HSV2 sufferers. The next study will include around 300 subjects to give a wider data set.

Felonessthrowaway21 karma

That study has proven not to be as groundbreaking as it appeared

which is why I'm skeptical of your study due to the fact that your study has even less participants and had seemingly the same results; self reported reduction in noticeable symptoms.

Rational-Vaxxer3 karma

Understood, but there is no doubt in my mind that this worked for me and the science behind it makes a great deal of sense. I'm not here to say "WE FOUND THE CURE FOR HERPES" I'm here to say I was cured of my symptoms, the science behind why makes a lot of sense, and I would like to do all that I can to raise awareness of this technology to hopefully help push it forward into larger studies, with larger data sets, and eventually into the market where it can help people who have suffered like me.


Why did your treatment have to take place off US soil?

And... What is preventing this treatment from being brought to the US?

Sounds kinda sketchy to be honest...

Rational-Vaxxer4 karma

Bill Halford has aggressive and malignant brain cancer, so he doesn't really have the time to wait around for NIH grants to throw him the money necessary to conduct trials in the US. He was able to do so cheaper in St. Kitt's, and in the future Mexico as their administrations do not have the FDA red-tape ours has, and he can get the therapeutic through trials and into markets faster by going overseas. It's sad, but the FDA is terrified of live-attenuated vaccines to the point where they would rather let diseases spread than sample their safety in small populations.

This is why Phase 1 only included n=20, it was primarily a safety study. With data backing the end point of the study: this attenuated vaccine does not cause harm (he has even injected himself multiple times). Now studies will continue wherever they are allowed to continue, and part of the reason I'm doing this AMA is to hopefully get signatures for the change.org petition and give Dr. Bill Halford time to present his decades of research and findings from this trial to Congress.

Dr. Bill Halford has his own blog, and he touches more on the subject in this post.

ThavinceGene1 karma

I've been a herpes outburst "sufferer" for 20 years too, and I'm 28 now.

I've only had outbursts on my lips though, never anywhere else. In the early days I used to have anywhere from two weeks once a month to constantly having it for 2-3 months...

I lived through it without any major problems, I've had a great sex life and life was pretty good overall. Though on most of the photos I'm in, my mouth is a bit skewed (me covering the fucking herpes).

I only had outbursts whenever I got nervous, even being slightly nervous for some stupid shit... And when I felt an outburst is coming, I'd get even more nervous about it and on and on... That shit is no joke.

In the last couple of years I've been getting outbursts maybe once or twice a year. Only when I'm really nervous out of my mind. So, it's not a real problem anymore.

Anyway, would get this vaccine if it proves effective, because fuck herpes!

p.s. I'm not in the US, so maybe they'll make it available elsewhere too...

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

Your story is not an uncommon one. So many people on the planet have it it's getting kind of ridiculous. Vaccine would definitely help more than likely it will be available everywhere else except the United States of America. Hopefully in less than two years but that is not written in stone. Once the trials are done in St Kitts and in Mexico they'll be enough data to prove it's effectiveness. Dr.Bills frustration with the FDA and United States medical boards is clear in his blog but if you can please sign the petition to hopefully get him in front of Congress to address the issue.

[deleted]2 karma

How did you get herpes?

Rational-Vaxxer8 karma

From a girlfriend over 20 years ago while doing horizontal pushups or push ins

Felonessthrowaway25 karma

Wow so you've been infected for over 20 years but you are still very symptomatic? Isn't that quite rare? Are you immune compromised? Do you have other health issues?

Rational-Vaxxer5 karma

I am no longer symptomatic because of the vaccine. Actually its not as rare that people suffer in a terrible way. At least 100 million suffer greatly. For the record I am not immune compromised and no other health issues

saxophonemississippi2 karma

What has your sex life been like since then?

Rational-Vaxxer2 karma

Since being infected or since the vaccine? Honestly, nothing has really been going on since I got the vaccine, but I've had a great sex life over the 20 years of having HSV. I've dated both people with and without the virus, and have never passed it to anyone.

Of course, I've been rejected for the virus, and it was heartbreaking. I got to a very low place emotionally once after one particular rejection where a woman I was really falling for freaked out and blocked me. I even considered suicide.

I never want anyone to ever have to experience that feeling again. Feeling rejected and feeling like a leper over something they cannot control.

As I said, 4 billion people have HSV. That is the majority of people on the planet. Most people have symptoms so minor that they're unaware of their infection. Something like 80% of those who carry the virus don't even know, but people who suffer terribly from the virus- like me, are in the minority. A very significant minority that requires attention- 100 million people is a lot of people, but it's only 2.5% of those that carry a strain of the virus. Most of the pain from HSV is emotional due to stigma and the repercussions of the stigma.

Hopefully preventative vaccines along with far better therapeutic options such as the one I received can take a huge chunk out of the stigma, and eventually solve the problem for good.

saxophonemississippi2 karma

And how have your partners felt about it?

I'm not sure if I have it, I probably do but am asymptomatic.

The pain sounds like it would make sex crickety-crackety-poppety from the swelling of your pelvis

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

Partners were aware before getting involved. If you are not sure that you have it, you need to get blood work done i.e: an IgG test or a western blot if applicable. Also having sex during an outbreak is not recommended. I'm not sure what you mean by quickly Crackity popoty but sound effects always make me laugh

Daahkness2 karma

As opposed to vertical push-ups?

Rational-Vaxxer3 karma


Rational-Vaxxer1 karma


Faaaab-MU1 karma

I don't have HSV2 but I do suffer from HSV1. I have outbreaks about 7 times a year, usually after I've eaten too much sugar.

Will this vaccine treat only HSV2 or will it also treat/cure HSV1?

Rational-Vaxxer2 karma

I am not sure what Dr. bills plan is but for the moment they are finding that people with both one and two are benefiting from the same vaccine. Basically people were being vaccinated for type two that also had type one, some of the trial participants went into complete remission of both viruses. They are finding out there is a lot of efficacy towards both but I honestly do not know the specifics.

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

Thank you for your support

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

Thank you. If you have a moment please sign the petitions

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

Yes that's what I'm saying, one outbreak in approximately 6 to 7 months. More than likely, I will need a fourth shot. As previously stated, 65% of the trial participants went into complete remission. Some of this is due to the fact that many people's immune system's react differently. Not one immune system is the same as everyone else. Please keep in mind the fact that the study is not complete yet. phase 2 and phase 3 in the St Kitts trial will also determine dosage and the rest of efficacy. There is an upcoming trial in Mexico which will be much larger.

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

Sitting with team Rational Vaccine https://i.imgur.com/Y7IEClL.jpg

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

Dr Halford and Agustin CEO


bengfrorer1 karma

You said you had HSV2, but took a vaccine? Vaccines would only prevent initial contraction, not cure an existing case. Is it a "cure" , treatment or a vaccine?

LesbianLighterFluid2 karma

As I understand it, a vaccine is just something that gets your body to produce an immune response to a particular pathogen, so it can be preventive or therapuetic in scope. Most people will only have experience of preventive vaccines over the course of their life however.

The hope for this vaccine is that it will turn out to be what's called a "functional cure", i.e. such a reduction of symptoms in those who've been vaccinated that being infected wouldn't even matter to them, and theoretically passing it on wouldn't matter either as a newly infected person could just get the vaccine as well. They've had promising results from the small pool of people who've already recieved the vaccine but they need more data from more people to know for sure it'll work its magic on everyone. But even if it doesn't, it's still looking likely to be a decent treatment option for herpes sufferers were it made available for the public.

OP's title says he no longer suffers from HSV2, not that he's rid of it.

TL;DR: It's a treatment, a vaccine and possibly a "cure" depending on how you define the word.

Oh! Nearly forgot, Rational Vaccines is working on a preventive vaccine as well called Profavax that you can read about here: http://rationalvaccines.com/Profavax

Sorry if it's already been posted, couldn't be arsed skimming through the thread to be honest 'cause I've been following this for a while and read it all before, lol.

And in case it hasn't been posted yet, here's the link for Theravax, the one we're discussing in this thread: http://rationalvaccines.com/theravax

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

Oh, wow. I didn't see this before I responded otherwise I wouldn't have had to. You did so perfectly! Thank you for this and for following the progress.

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

Yes to all three. It's a vaccine treatment that can act as a functional cure. Let me explain. HSV2 lies latent in nerve roots. When it activates/reproduces to an extent that the immune system cannot control it in time, that is when an outbreak occurs. Theravax retrains the immune system to be able to keep it in latency. So it's not a cure in the sense that it removes latent virus from nerve roots, it is a cure in the sense that the technology has the potential to make it as much of a physical burden as the latent chickenpox many still carry from their youths. That is the goal. There are sterilizing cures (such as taking antibiotics to cure strep throat) and there are functional cures (taking a shingles vaccine to cure/prevent shingles from causing disease). Unfortunately, scientists have not figured out how to remove latent herpesviruses from the nervous system.

There is some work done with CRISPR technology to try to figure out how, but it has not been successful in animal models yet, and it's looking to be a long way off.

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

Thank you to all those who have signed the petitions. If you can, please share this post or share the links for the petition. Thanks again.

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

Every signature is important and needed

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

If you can please sign the petition. There are two of them. ;)

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

By the way food triggers for HSV are very common

420fartknocker1 karma

Do you have a reference/link for the 65% "full remission" number?

Rational-Vaxxer3 karma

Just what was expressed by the CEO in the CBS interview that was linked. I am just a trial participant so I am not privvy to the manuscripts/data that are currently being written on phase 1. Hopefully once they're released, we can get Dr. Bill to do his own AMA, but he is a busy guy at the moment so I took this upon myself.

valueape1 karma

Aren't there like 215 different strains of HSV2? WHy don't scientists simply inoculate folks with an asymptomatic strain? That way you have hsv2 but it doesn't pose any problems.

Rational-Vaxxer6 karma

That's Rational Vaccine's goal! It is a strain modified to not cause symptoms, but expose the host to the viral proteins in a controlled manner to train the immune system. This can work both as a preventative and a therapeutic. I received the therapeutic, as I was already infected.

It is similar to the chicken pox vs. shingles vaccine. The chicken pox vaccine is just a lower dose (due to the host not having pre-existing immune response) of the shingles vaccine. These vaccines are already on the market and proven effective, and it is a shame that there is not one for HSV2 on the market yet.

Rational-Vaxxer1 karma

The vaccine is a live annutated vaccine. Which is pretty much what you just described.