To determine the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of a recombinant herpes simplex virus type 2 glycoprotein D and B vaccine in the treatment of recurrent genital herpes, a randomized, placebo-controlled trial was held at two referral centers. Healthy patients with 4-14 recurrences per year received injections of both glycoproteins in MF59 adjuvant or of MF59 alone at 0, 2, 12, and 14 months. For 18 study months, the rate and number of recurrences, the duration and severity of the first confirmed recurrence, vaccine immunogenicity, and rates of local and systemic reactions were determined. The monthly rate of recurrences was not significantly improved, but the duration and severity of the first study outbreak was reduced significantly by vaccination. Glycoprotein-specific and neutralizing antibodies were boosted by vaccination for the duration of the study. This vaccine is safe and immunogenic and ameliorated an observed first postvaccination genital recurrence, but it does not reduce recurrence frequency.