A commonly prescribed herpes drug may help to delay the need for HIV therapies among the millions of people who are infected with the virus, The Lancet reports. A new study highlights how a cheap drug could play a role in blunting the progression of the deadly virus.
Scientists at the University of Washington, Seattle started out with the knowledge that reining in the herpes virus is known to be linked with low levels of HIV. And people with HIV-1, the most common type of infection, are also commonly infected with herpes simplex 2. So in a clinical trial people were either given acyclovir or a placebo. The herpes drug group had a significantly lower number of people who had either switched to an HIV therapy, seen a drop in their CD4 level indicating they should be receiving therapy, or had died by the end of the trial.
"While the HIV disease ameliorating effect we have observed is modest, it could add one more tool to help people with HIV infection stay healthy for longer," says study leader Dr. Jairam Lingappa.
- here's the story from the BBC