Protection against HSV-2 is added benefit of tenofovir

July 2, 2014
Protection against HSV-2 is added benefit of tenofovir

(HealthDay)—Tenofovir for HIV-1 preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) provides the added benefit of protection against herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) acquisition, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Connie Celum, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a study among and women in Kenya and Uganda who were seronegative for HIV-1 and HSV-2, but at high risk for HIV-1 acquisition due to having an infected partner. Participants were randomized to receive daily oral PrEP with antiretroviral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) alone or in combination with emtricitabine (FTC-TDF).

The researchers found that 131 participants seroconverted to HSV-2 (79 of 1,041 assigned to tenofovir or FTC-TDF PrEP [HSV-2 incidence, 5.6 per 100 person-years] versus 52 of 481 assigned to [HSV-2 incidence, 7.7 per 100 person-years]). With daily oral PrEP, the hazard ratio (HR) for HSV-2 acquisition was 0.70 (P = 0.047) compared with placebo, with an absolute risk reduction of 2.1 per 100 person-years. The HR for PrEP was 0.67 (P = 0.038) among the 1,044 participants with HSV-2-infected partners, compared to placebo, with an absolute risk reduction of 3.1 per 100 person-years.

"Modest protection against HSV-2 is an added benefit of HIV-1 prevention with oral tenofovir-based PrEP," the authors write.

Explore further: Pivotal study in Africa finds that HIV medications prevent HIV infection

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