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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004 Apr 15;35(5):435-45.

The effects of herpes simplex virus-2 on HIV-1 acquisition and transmission: a review of two overlapping epidemics.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Washington Program in Infectious Diseases, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, USA. lcorey@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Increasing evidence demonstrates a substantial link between the epidemics of sexually transmitted HIV-1 and herpes simplex virus (HSV)-2 infection. More than 30 epidemiologic studies have demonstrated that prevalent HSV-2 is associated with a 2- to 4-fold increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition. Per-sexual contact transmission rates among couples from Rakai, Uganda indicate that at all levels of plasma HIV-1 RNA in the source partner, HSV-2-seropositive HIV-1-susceptible persons have a 5-fold greater risk of acquiring HIV-1 compared with HSV-2-negative persons. In vitro and in vivo studies suggest that mucosal HIV-1 shedding is more frequent and in greater amounts during mucocutaneous HSV-2 replication, including subclinical mucosal reactivations. Most HIV-1-infected persons are coinfected with HSV-2, and most experience frequent subclinical and clinical reactivations of HSV-2. Subclinical HSV reactivation elevates serum HIV-1 RNA levels, and daily therapy with acyclovir appears to reduce plasma HIV-1 RNA. These data show that greater attention to the diagnosis and treatment of HSV-2 among HIV-1-infected persons is warranted, especially those who continue to be sexually active, those not on antiretroviral therapy, or those whose disease is not well suppressed by antiretrovirals.

PMID:
15021308
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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