Can we reduce the spread of HIV infection by suppressing herpes simplex virus type 2 infection?

    Research output: Contribution to journalA4: Article in journal not included in A1, A2 or A3peer-review


    Overwhelming evidence from observational epidemiological studies indicates that herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection enhances the risk of acquiring HIV infection. Studies of genital shedding of HIV have suggested that HSV-2 infection also increases the onward transmission of HIV-1 by HIV/HSV-2 co-infected patients. Several randomized controlled trials were initiated to assess the impact of HSV-2 suppressive therapy on the acquisition of HIV infection by HSV-2 infected men and women, and on the onward transmission of HIV by HSV-2/HIV co-infected men and women. In the past 2 years the results of these trials have been published. HSV-2 suppressive therapy was not found to have any effect on HIV acquisition nor on onward transmission of HIV. However, suppressive therapy with acyclovir was found to slow down disease progression in HIV/HSV-2 co-infected patients. The effect was rather modest and cost-effectiveness studies are needed to assess whether HSV-2 suppressive therapy has a place in the management of HIV-1 infected patients, especially in low and middle income countries
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalF1000 Medicine Reports
    Pages (from-to)41
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • B780-tropical-medicine
    • Viral diseases
    • HIV
    • AIDS
    • Co-infections
    • Herpes simplex virus type 2
    • HSV-2
    • Transmission reduction
    • Risk management
    • Therapy
    • Acyclovir
    • Disease progression
    • Clinical trials
    • Global


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