A decisive cure for herpes remains to be elusive today, and there is one reason why the pharmaceutical industry still has not found one. This is against a background where the said pharmaceutical
industry has, in the last two hundred years or so, come up with cures for other much more serious conditions that were previously viewed as untreatable. For example, the condition known as
pneumonia. It has claimed so many lives in the past that it was thought to have no cure. But now, all patients suffering from pneumonia has to do is take some antibiotic doses and they'll be good
Tuberculosis, hepatitis and typhoid fever can now be easily treated using simple and inexpensive pharmaceutical products. Given that background, then, it baffles many people why the researchers in the pharmaceutical industry have been unable to develop a cure 'for a simple condition like herpes.' There is only one reason for that: the virus that causes herpes has managed to elude these pharmaceutical companies since it is so good at keeping itself hidden. It only comes out of hiding to induce the herpes outbreaks in the patient, before going back as soon as it manages to terrorize the patient for some time.
A few herpes virus will be enough to cause the outbreak while the others could just stay hidden. The body's immune system could fight off these viruses whenever they surface. There are also some drugs that can be taken. But those that remain in hiding are able to avoid being combated through drugs or by the body's own immunity. So it becomes hard to cure herpes completely, because at any given point in time, some of the viruses that causes it are always in hiding and they can't be reached by drugs or get tackled by the body's own immunity.
But there is hope yet that a real herpes cure can be formulated soon. After all, the pharmaceutical industry has successfully tapped into viruses' DNA genomes in order to come up with cures for various illnesses. Some recent studies have shown that they could have identified which exact gene these viruses are hiding in. Now all that is left for them to do is to figure out how to prevent the said gene from developing. Once that happens, we will have drugs that are capable of combating the herpes viruses that are visible, whilst also effective 'smoking out' those that are in hiding (by disabling their hiding mechanisms). Oral herpes and genital herpes can now be effectively and permanently cured.
While waiting for that time to come, however, what we can do for the moment is to make use of the currently available treatments. Much as the pharmaceutical industry has been unable to develop a real lasting cure for herpes, it has nonetheless developed treatments through which the disease's symptoms can be managed. Herpes is not really likely to be a major issue for a person who makes use of the herpes treatments that are available. They are quite good at ameliorating the symptoms of herpes, though they don't cure it completely.