Call to Action: Group Letter to President Biden

Join hundreds of ID experts, HCPs, and patient advocates in the call for change.

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

July 24, 2023

Dear President Biden,

I am writing in support of a federal response to address the cure, treatment, and prevention of Herpes Simplex Virus in the United States.

Herpes is widely recognized as a driver of the HIV/AIDS epidemic – more than any other infection. Research indicates that 30% of new HIV cases may be linked to herpes.

Recent work has suggested herpes may also be a major player in Alzheimer’s disease. It is a plausible theory as the herpes virus resides in the brain and evidence indicates a causative relationship to Alzheimer’s Disease, a leading cause of death and disability in America.

More than 2000 babies every year are born with herpes. More than half may die.

Therefore, I request that the federal agenda for herpes include:

  • A White House task force charged with addressing the public health crisis of herpes
  • A widespread campaign to alert health care providers as to the serious nature of herpes and its relationship with HIV, Alzheimer’s, Dementia and newborn disease
  • A renewed, robust effort at surveillance for genital and neonatal herpes
  • Dedicated investment in clinical research for curative approaches via NIAID/DMID
  • Dedicated investment in the development of a blood test to diagnose infection

One thing the COVID-19 pandemic has done is brought the injustice and inequality of health care and resources for infectious diseases to light in a way not previously understood. We are at a crossroads now with great levels of advocacy and the ability to make real change with new technologies to tackle these silent epidemics. I look forward to your prompt response.

Very Respectfully,

Jeffrey D. Klausner, MD, MPH

Clinical Professor of Medicine, Population and Public Health Sciences

Lead, Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Applies Studies (I.D.E.A.S.) Initiative

Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California

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