HSV suppression reduces seminal HIV-1 levels in HIV-1/HSV-2 co-infected men who have sex with men.
ABSTRACT: Suppressive herpes simplex virus (HSV) therapy can decrease plasma, cervical, and rectal HIV-1 levels in HIV-1/HSV-2 co-infected persons. We evaluated the effect of HSV-2 suppression on seminal HIV-1 levels.Twenty antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naive HIV-1/HSV-2 men who have sex with men (MSM) in Lima, Peru, with CD4 >200 cells/microl randomly received valacyclovir 500 mg twice daily or placebo for 8 weeks, then the alternative regimen for 8 weeks after a 2-week washout. Peripheral blood and semen specimens were collected weekly. Anogenital swab specimens for HSV DNA were self-collected daily and during clinic visits.HIV-1 RNA was quantified in seminal and blood plasma by TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or Roche Amplicor Monitor assays. HSV and seminal cytomegalovirus (CMV) were quantified by RT-PCR. Linear mixed models examined differences within participants by treatment arm.Median CD4 cell count of participants was 424 cells/microl. HIV-1 was detected in 71% of 231 semen specimens. HSV was detected from 29 and 4.4% of swabs on placebo and valacyclovir, respectively (P < 0.001). Valacyclovir significantly reduced the proportion of days with detectable seminal HIV-1 (63% during valacyclovir vs. 78% during placebo; P = 0.04). Seminal HIV-1 quantity was 0.25 log10 copies/ml lower [95% confidence interval (CI) -0.40 to -0.10; P = 0.001] during the valacyclovir arm compared with placebo, a 44% reduction. CD4 cell count (P = 0.32) and seminal cellular CMV quantity (P = 0.68) did not predict seminal plasma HIV-1 level.Suppressive valacyclovir reduced seminal HIV-1 levels in HIV-1/HSV-2 co-infected MSM not receiving ART. The significance of this finding will be evaluated in a trial with HIV-1 transmission as the outcome.
Project description:A randomized cross-over trial of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2)-suppressive therapy (valacyclovir, 500 mg twice daily, or placebo for 8 weeks, a 2-week washout period, then the alternative therapy for 8 weeks) was conducted among 20 Peruvian women coinfected with HSV-2 and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) who were not on antiretroviral therapy. Plasma samples (obtained weekly) and endocervical swab specimens (obtained thrice weekly) were collected for HIV-1 RNA polymerase chain reaction. Plasma HIV-1 level was significantly lower during the valacyclovir arm, compared with the placebo arm (-0.26 log10 copies/mL, a 45% decrease [P < .001]), as was cervical HIV-1 level (-0.35 log10 copies/swab, a 55% decrease [P < .001]). Suppressive HSV-2 therapy has the potential to reduce HIV-1 infectiousness and slow HIV-1 disease progression.
Project description:To determine the influence of asymptomatic genital viral infections on the cellular components of semen and blood, we evaluated the associations between the numbers and activation statuses of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes in both compartments and the seminal levels of cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), and human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV). Paired blood and semen samples were collected from 36 HIV-infected antiretroviral-naïve individuals and from 40 HIV-uninfected participants. We performed multiparameter flow cytometry analysis (CD45, CD45RA, CD3, CD4, CD8, and CD38) of seminal and blood cellular components and measured HIV RNA and CMV and HSV DNA levels in seminal and blood plasma by real-time PCR. Compared to HIV-uninfected participants, in the seminal compartment HIV-infected participants had higher levels of CMV (P < 0.05), higher numbers of total CD3+ (P < 0.01) and CD8+ subset (P < 0.01) T lymphocytes, and higher CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocyte activation (RA-CD38+) (P < 0.01). Seminal CMV levels positively correlated with absolute numbers of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in semen (P < 0.05) and with the activation status of CD4+ T cells in semen and in blood (P < 0.01). HIV levels in semen (P < 0.05) and blood (P < 0.01) were positively associated with T-cell activation in blood. Activation of CD8+ T cells in blood remained an independent predictor of HIV levels in semen in multivariate analysis. The virologic milieu in the male genital tract strongly influences the recruitment and activation of immune cells in semen and may also modulate T-cell immune activation in blood. These factors likely influence replication dynamics, sexual transmission risk, and disease outcomes for all three viruses.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Acyclovir (ACV), a highly specific anti-herpetic drug, acts as a DNA chain terminator for several human herpesviruses (HHVs), including HHV-2 (HSV-2), a common human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 co-pathogen. Several trials demonstrated that HSV-2 suppressive therapy using ACV or its prodrug valacyclovir (valACV) reduced plasma HIV-1 viral load (VL) in HIV-1/HSV-2 coinfected persons, and this was proposed to be due to a decrease in generalized immune activation. Recently, however, we found that ACV directly suppresses HIV-1 ex vivo in tissues free of HSV-2 but endogenously coinfected with other HHVs. Here, we asked whether valACV suppresses VL in HIV-1 infected HSV-2-seronegative persons.<h4>Methods</h4>Eighteen HIV-1 infected HSV-2-seronegative individuals were randomly assigned in a double blind placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Eligible participants had CD4 cell counts of ?500 cells/µL and were not taking antiretroviral therapy. Subjects in group A received 12 weeks of valACV 500 mg given twice daily by mouth followed by 2 weeks of a no treatment washout and then 12 weeks of placebo; subjects in group B received 12 weeks of placebo followed by 2 weeks of no treatment washout and then 12 weeks of valACV 500 mg twice daily.<h4>Results</h4>HIV-1 VL in plasma of patients treated with valACV 500 mg twice daily for 12 weeks was reduced on average by 0.37 log10 copies/mL.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These data indicate that the effects of valACV on HIV-1 replication are not related to the suppression of HSV-2-mediated inflammation and are consistent with a direct effect of ACV on HIV-1 replication.
Project description:Standard-dose HSV-2 suppressive therapy (acyclovir 400 mg twice daily) reduces plasma HIV-1 levels by 0.25-0.50 log(10) copies/mL. It is not known if higher doses might further suppress HIV-1 levels.We enrolled 32 HIV-1/HSV-2 dually infected Kenyan individuals who were not on antiretroviral therapy (ART) into a randomized, crossover trial of 2 dosing regimens of HSV-2 suppression: valacyclovir 1.5 g vs acyclovir 400 mg, both twice daily for 12 weeks, then a 2-week washout, and then the alternative for 12 weeks. Weekly plasma HIV-1 RNA quantity was measured (ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT01026454).Mean plasma HIV-1 levels were significantly lower on valacyclovir compared with acyclovir: 2.94 vs 3.56 log(10) copies/mL, an average difference of 0.62 log(10) copies/mL (95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.68, -0.55; P < .001), a 76% decrease. Valacyclovir resulted in a 1.23 log(10) copies/mL decrease compared with baseline HIV-1 levels without HSV-2 suppression. Adherence was similar (99.4% of dispensed study tablets taken), and high-dose valacyclovir was well tolerated.High-dose valacyclovir reduced plasma HIV-1 viral levels by 0.62 log(10) copies/mL compared with standard-dose acyclovir. The potential for higher-dose HSV-2 suppressive therapy to slow HIV-1 disease progression and reduce HIV-1 infectiousness among HIV-1/HSV-2 coinfected persons not yet eligible for ART warrants further evaluation.
Project description:Daily suppressive therapy with valacyclovir reduces risk of sexual transmission of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) in HSV-2-serodiscordant heterosexual couples by 48%. Whether suppressive therapy reduces HSV-2 transmission from persons coinfected with HSV-2 and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is unknown.Within a randomized trial of daily acyclovir 400 mg twice daily in African HIV-1 serodiscordant couples, in which the HIV-1-infected partner was HSV-2 seropositive, we identified partnerships in which HIV-1-susceptible partners were HSV-2 seronegative to estimate the effect of acyclovir on risk of HSV-2 transmission.We randomly assigned 911 HSV-2/HIV-1-serodiscordant couples to daily receipt of acyclovir or placebo. We observed 68 HSV-2 seroconversions, 40 and 28 in acyclovir and placebo groups, respectively (HSV-2 incidence, 5.1 cases per 100 person-years; hazard ratio [HR], 1.35 [95% confidence interval, .83-2.20]; P = .22). Among HSV-2-susceptible women, vaginal drying practices (adjusted HR, 44.35; P = .004) and unprotected sex (adjusted HR, 9.91; P = .002) were significant risk factors for HSV-2 acquisition; having more children was protective (adjusted HR, 0.47 per additional child; P = .012). Among HSV-2-susceptible men, only age ?30 years was associated with increased risk of HSV-2 acquisition (P = .016).Treatment of African HSV-2/HIV-1-infected persons with daily suppressive acyclovir did not decrease risk of HSV-2 transmission to susceptible partners. More-effective prevention strategies to reduce HSV-2 transmission from HIV-1-infected persons are needed.
Project description:The effect of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) suppression on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA in the context of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) interventions is unknown.Between April 2008 and August 2010, we conducted a randomized, double-blind trial of twice daily 500 mg valacyclovir or placebo beginning at 34 weeks gestation in 148 HIV-1/HSV-2 coinfected pregnant Kenyan women ineligible for highly active antiretroviral therapy (CD4 > 250 cells/mm(3)). Women received zidovudine and single dose nevirapine for PMTCT and were followed until 12 months postpartum.Mean baseline plasma HIV-1 RNA was 3.88 log(10) copies/mL. Mean plasma HIV-1 was lower during pregnancy (-.56 log(10) copies/mL; 95% confidence interval [CI], -.77 to -.34) and after 6 weeks postpartum (-.51 log(10) copies/mL; 95% CI, -.73 to -.30) in the valacyclovir arm than the placebo arm. Valacyclovir reduced breast milk HIV-1 RNA detection at 6 and 14 weeks postpartum compared with placebo (30% lower, P = .04; 46% lower, P = .01, respectively), but not after 14 weeks. Cervical HIV-1 RNA detection was similar between arms (P = .91).Valacyclovir significantly decreased early breast milk and plasma HIV-1 RNA among women receiving PMTCT.NCT00530777.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Standard doses of herpes simplex virus (HSV) suppressive therapy reduce plasma HIV-1 RNA levels (0.25-0.53 log10 copies per milliliter) among HIV-1/HSV-2 coinfected persons. Postulated mechanisms for this effect include direct inhibition of HIV-1 by acyclovir or indirect reduction by decreasing HSV-associated inflammation. We hypothesized that high-dose valacyclovir would further reduce plasma HIV-1 RNA and that the effect would be mediated by greater suppression of HSV shedding. METHODS:Thirty-four participants with HIV-1 and HSV-2 not on antiretroviral therapy were enrolled into a randomized, open-label crossover trial of valacyclovir 1000 mg twice daily or acyclovir 400 mg twice daily for 12 weeks, followed by a 2-week washout, and then the alternate treatment arm for 12 weeks. HSV DNA was measured from daily self-collected genital swabs for the initial 4 weeks of each arm, and HIV-1 RNA was quantified from weekly plasma samples. RESULTS:Twenty-eight participants provided plasma samples and genital swabs on both acyclovir and valacyclovir. The genital HSV-2 shedding rate was the same on valacyclovir and acyclovir [7.8% vs. 8.2% of days; relative risk: 0.95; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.66 to 1.37; P = 0.78]. Plasma HIV-1 RNA was 0.27 log10 copies per milliliter lower on valacyclovir compared with acyclovir (95% CI: -0.41 to -0.14 log10 copies per milliliter; P < 0.001); this was unchanged after adjustment for genital HSV-2 shedding. CONCLUSIONS:High-dose valacyclovir reduces plasma HIV-1 RNA levels more than standard-dose acyclovir in HIV-1/HSV-2-seropositive persons not receiving antiretroviral therapy. The incremental reduction in plasma HIV-1 RNA achieved is not mediated by greater genital HSV-2 suppression.
Project description:Although highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has dramatically decreased HIV-related morbidity and mortality, the associated costs, toxicities, and resistance risks make the potential delay of HAART initiation an attractive goal. Suppression of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) may be a novel strategy for achieving this goal because HSV-2 is associated with clinically significant increases in HIV viral load, the primary driver of HIV disease progression.The VALacyclovir In Delaying Antiretroviral Treatment Entry (VALIDATE) trial is a multicentre, randomized, fully blinded, clinical trial of twice daily valacyclovir 500 mg versus placebo for delaying the need for initiating HAART among HIV-1, HSV-2 co-infected HAART-naïve adults. 480 participants from Canada, Brazil and Argentina will undergo quarterly clinical follow-up until reaching the composite primary endpoint of having a CD4+ T-cell count ? 350 cells/mm(3) or initiation of HAART for any reason, whichever occurs first. The primary analysis will use a proportional hazards model, stratified by site, to estimate the relative risk of progression to this endpoint associated with valacyclovir. Secondary analyses will compare the rates of change in CD4 count, median log10 HIV viral load, drug-related adverse events, frequency of HSV reactivations, rate of acyclovir-resistant HSV, and quality of life between study arms.Although HIV treatment guidelines continue to evolve, with some authorities recommending earlier HAART among asymptomatic individuals, the potential delay of HAART remains a clinically relevant goal for many. If shown to be of benefit, implementation of the VALIDATE intervention will require careful consideration of both individual patient-level and public health implications.Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN66756285. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00860977.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Multiple viruses coinfect the male genital tract, influencing each other’s replication and perhaps affecting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pathogenesis and disease progression.<h4>Methods</h4>This study included 453 longitudinal seminal samples from 195 HIV-infected men from the San Diego Primary Infection Resource Consortium and 67 seminal samples from HIV-negative healthy controls. Seminal HIV RNA and DNA from 7 human herpesviruses (HHVs) were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Longitudinal shedding rates were determined by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Predictors of viral shedding were determined using backwards selection in a multivariable generalized estimating equation model.<h4>Results</h4>HIV-infected participants presented significantly increased rates of seminal HHV shedding compared with HIV-uninfected controls. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) were the most commonly detected HHV in semen of HIV-infected participants. Persistent shedding was more common for CMV and EBV when compared to other HHVs. With exception of HHV-7, HHV shedding was not significantly influenced by HIV RNA levels, CD4+ cell counts, or antiretroviral therapy. Presence of CMV, EBV, and herpes simplex virus (HSV) were independent predictors of genital HIV RNA shedding after adjusting for plasma HIV RNA and longitudinal measurements.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Seminal replication of multiple HHVs is common in our HIV primary infection cohort. Genital replication of CMV and EBV was the most common and was significantly associated with seminal HIV RNA shedding. Prevalence of HSV shedding was lower and mostly intermittent, but its association with seminal HIV RNA was the strongest. Understanding the complex viral milieu in semen is important for HIV transmission but might also play a role in HIV pathogenesis and disease progression.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Mathematical models that incorporate HIV disease progression dynamics can estimate the potential impact of strategies that delay HIV disease progression and reduce infectiousness for persons not on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Suppressive treatment of HIV-positive persons co-infected with herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) with valacyclovir, an HSV-2 antiviral, can lower HIV viral load, but the impact of partially-suppressive valacyclovir relative to fully-suppressive ART on population HIV transmission has not been estimated. METHODS:We modeled HIV disease progression as a function of changes in viral load and CD4 count over time among ART naïve persons. The disease progression Markov model was nested within a dynamic model of HIV transmission at population level. We assumed that valacyclovir reduced HIV viral load by 1.23 log copies/?L, and that persons treated with valacyclovir initiated ART more rapidly when their CD4 fell below 500 due to retention in HIV care. We estimated the potential impact of valacyclovir on onward transmission of HIV in three scenarios of different ART and valacyclovir population coverage. RESULTS:The average duration of HIV infection was 9.5 years. The duration of disease before reaching CD4 200cells/?L was 2.53 years longer for females than males. Relative to a baseline of ART initiation at CD4?500cells/?L, the valacyclovir scenario resulted in 167,000 fewer HIV infections over ten years, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $5276 per HIV infection averted. A Test and Treat scenario with 70% ART coverage and no valacyclovir resulted in 350,000 fewer HIV infections at an ICER of $2822 and $812 per HIV infection averted and QALY gained, respectively. CONCLUSION:Even when compared with valacyclovir suppression, a drug that reduces HIV viral load, universal treatment for HIV is the optimal strategy for averting new infections and increasing public health benefit. Universal HIV treatment would most effectively and efficiently reduce the HIV burden.