Acyclovir reduces risk of HIV-1 disease progression, if positive for HIV-1 and HSV-2

Most people infected with HIV-1 are dually infected with herpes simplex virus type 2. Daily suppression of this herpes virus reduces plasma HIV-1 concentrations, but whether it delays HIV-1 disease progression is unknown.

In this study, the median CD4 cell count at enrollment was 462 cells per μL and median HIV-1 plasma RNA was 4 log10 copies per μL. Aciclovir reduced risk of HIV-1 disease progression by 16%.

The role of suppression of herpes simplex virus type 2 in reduction of HIV-1 disease progression before initiation of antiretroviral therapy warrants consideration.


Daily aciclovir for HIV-1 disease progression in people dually infected with HIV-1 and herpes simplex virus type 2: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet, Volume 375, Issue 9717, Pages 824 - 833, 6 March 2010.
Image source: Diagram of HIV. Image source: Wikipedia.

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