Immunological markers of frequently recurrent genital herpes simplex virus and their response to hypnotherapy: a pilot study

Int J STD AIDS. 1999 Nov;10(11):730-4.
Fox PA, Henderson DC, Barton SE, Champion AJ, Rollin MS, Catalan J, McCormack SM, Gruzelier J.
Department of HIV and Genitourinary Medicine, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London, UK.


Patients were recruited for hypnotherapy from a clinic for patients with frequently recurrent genital herpes simplex virus (rgHSV). Psychological and immunological parameters were measured 6 weeks prior to hypnotherapy and 6 weeks afterwards, during which time each patient kept a diary of symptoms of rgHSV. Following hypnotherapy there was a significant overall reduction in the number of reported episodes of rgHSV, accompanied by an increase in the numbers of CD3 and CD8 lymphocytes, which may represent a non specific effect of hypnosis. The improvers showed significant rises in natural killer (NK) cell counts, HSV specific lymphokine activated killer (LAK) activity, and reduced levels of anxiety when compared to non-improvers. NK cell numbers and HSV specific LAK activity may therefore be important in the reduction in rgHSV following hypnotherapy.