NIH: Treating HIV with Herpes Meds May Work

A new study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health say Valacyclovir may help to control HIV in patients that are negative for the virus that causes genital herpes.

The study is published online today in Clinical Infectious Disease and the release is available on the NIH’s government website.

“These findings are very encouraging,” said senior author Leonid Margolis, Ph.D., head of the Section on Intercellular Interactions at the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

“If valacyclovir’s effectiveness against HIV can be confirmed in a larger cohort, it could be added to the mix of drugs used to suppress the virus, and might prove especially helpful in cases in which HIV has developed resistance to other drugs.”

Although this study was a very small sample– only 18 patients– it could show promise and “larger randomized trials and cost effectiveness analyses could be warranted to further explore the potential of [valacyclovir] in the context of HIV-1 infection, in particular in combination with other antivirals,” the study authors wrote.”