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Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Reduces Risk for HSV-2 Acquisition — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
July 1, 2014

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Reduces Risk for HSV-2 Acquisition

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and André Sofair, MD, MPH

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with antiviral agents among heterosexual HIV-serodiscordant couples (i.e., one person is HIV-infected and the other isn't) not only reduces the risk for HIV acquisition but also decreases the risk for herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) infection. The findings, from a subanalysis of a randomized trial of PrEP to prevent HIV acquisition, appear in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Over 1500 adults in Kenya and Uganda whose partners were HIV-positive but who themselves did not have HIV or HSV-2 were randomized to daily PrEP (consisting of tenofovir or emtricitabine plus tenofovir) or placebo. After a median 18 months' follow-up, some 130 participants seroconverted to HSV-2; active treatment was associated with a 30% reduction in risk (absolute reduction, 2.1 per 100 person-years). Findings were similar in an analysis restricted to participants whose partners were HSV-2-positive (absolute risk reduction, 3.1 per 100 person-years).

The authors conclude: "Modest protection against HSV-2 is an added benefit of HIV-1 prevention with oral tenofovir-based PrEP."

Reader Comments (1)

CARLOS RISH Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice, Solo Practice

Any extrapolation to Acyclvir or Famcyclovir in non HSV-2 partners using prophylactic treatment with known HSV -2 + partners for prevention ?

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