A study published in The Lancet has found that aciclovir, a drug frequently used to treat genital herpes, could “help people with HIV infection stay healthy for longer,” according to Dr. Jairam Lingappa, leader of the research team out of the University of Washington in Seattle. —KA
Gus Cairns, editor of HIV Treatment Update, said: “It’s nice to see a positive result in this field.
“There are biological reasons to believe that treating people’s herpes could make them less likely to acquire HIV, or less likely to transmit it if they already have it, but results of trials testing the idea have been disappointing.
“Now at least we find that aciclovir, a very cheap, non-toxic and widely-available drug, can prolong the time some patients may be able to stay off the more expensive, and sometimes toxic, HIV drugs.”
He added that the delay in HIV progression seen in the study may translate into a year or two off HIV medications.