Daily oral preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with a tenofovir-based regimen protects against herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) acquisition, according to an article being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
PrEP using the antiretroviral tenofovir alone or in combination with emtricitabine has been shown to significantly reduce the risk for HIV-1 infection among high-risk populations. HSV-2 infection is common worldwide and is prevalent among HIV-1 infected persons. HSV-2 is also a significant risk factor for HIV-1 acquisition, so finding an effective primary prevention strategy for HSV-2 is a public health priority. Researchers conducted a secondary analysis of HSV-2 acquisition among participants who were initially seronegative for HIV-1 and HSV-2 in a large randomized, placebo-controlled trial of PrEP for HIV-1 prevention among HIV-1-serodiscordant heterosexual couples. They found that patients receiving tenofovir were 30 percent less likely to acquire HSV-2 than those in the placebo group.
The researchers conclude that protection against HSV-2 acquisition may be an important added benefit to PrEP for HIV-1 prevention with oral tenofovir.
Article: Daily Oral Tenofovir and Emtricitabine-Tenofovir Preexposure Prophylaxis Reduces Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Acquisition Among Heterosexual HIV-1-Uninfected Men and Women: A Subgroup Analysis of a Randomized Trial, Connie Celum, MD, MPH; Rhoda A. Morrow, PhD; Deborah Donnell, PhD; Ting Hong, MD, PhD; Craig W. Hendrix, MD, PhD; Katherine K. Thomas, MS; Kenneth H. Fife, MD, PhD; Edith Nakku-Joloba, MBChB, PhD; Andrew Mujugira, MBChB, MPH; Jared M. Baeten, MD, PhD, for the Partners PrEP Study Team, Ann Intern Med. DOI:10.7326/M13-2471, published 1 July 2014.