Valacyclovir suppressive therapy reduces plasma and breast milk HIV-1 RNA levels during pregnancy and postpartum: a randomized trial.
ABSTRACT: 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:Maternal administration of the acyclovir prodrug valacyclovir is compatible with pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, the safety profile of prolonged infant and maternal exposure to acyclovir in the context of antiretrovirals (ARVs) for prevention of mother-to-child HIV-1 transmission (PMTCT) has not been described.Pregnant Kenyan women co-infected with HIV-1/HSV-2 with CD4 counts > 250 cells/mm(3) were enrolled at 34 weeks gestation and randomized to twice daily 500 mg valacyclovir or placebo until 12 months postpartum. Women received zidovudine from 28 weeks gestation and single dose nevirapine was given to women and infants at the time of delivery for PMTCT. Infant blood was collected at 6 weeks for creatinine and ALT. Breast milk specimens were collected at 2 weeks postpartum from 71 women in the valacyclovir arm; acyclovir levels were determined for a random sample of 44 (62%) specimens. Fisher's Exact and Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used for analysis.One hundred forty-eight women were randomized and 146 mother-infant pairs were followed postpartum. PMTCT ARVs were administered to 98% of infants and all mothers. Valacyclovir was not associated with infant or maternal toxicities or adverse events, and no congenital malformations were observed. Infant creatinine levels were all normal (< 0.83 mg/dl) and median creatinine (median 0.50 mg/dl) and infant growth did not differ between study arms. Acyclovir was detected in 35 (80%) of 44 breast milk samples collected at 2 weeks postpartum. Median and maximum acyclovir levels were 2.62 and 10.15 mg/ml, respectively (interquartile range 0.6-4.19).Exposure to PMTCT ARVs and acyclovir after maternal administration of valacyclovir during pregnancy and postpartum to women co-infected with HIV-1/HSV-2 was not associated with an increase in infant or maternal toxicities or adverse events.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00530777.
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: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: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: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:<h4>Background</h4>Studies in HIV-1-infected infants and HIV-1-exposed, uninfected infants link early cytomegalovirus (CMV) acquisition with growth delay and cognitive impairment. We investigated maternal valacyclovir to delay infant acquisition of CMV.<h4>Methods</h4>Pregnant women with HIV-1, HSV-2 and CD4 count >250 cells/µl were randomized at 34 weeks gestation to 500 mg twice-daily valacyclovir or placebo for 12 months. Maternal CMV DNA was measured in plasma at 34 weeks gestation, in cervical secretions at 34 and 38 weeks gestation, and in breast milk at 7 postpartum timepoints; infant CMV DNA was measured in dried blood spots at 8 timepoints including birth.<h4>Results</h4>Among 148 women, 141 infants were compared in intent-to-treat analyses. Maternal and infant characteristics were similar between study arms. Infant CMV acquisition did not differ between study arms, with 46/70 infants (66%) in placebo arm and 47/71 infants (66%) in the valacyclovir arm acquiring CMV; median time to CMV detection did not differ. CMV DNA was detected in 92% of 542 breast milk specimens with no difference in CMV level between study arms. Change in cervical shedding of CMV DNA between baseline and 38 weeks was 0.40-log greater in the placebo arm than the valacyclovir arm (p = 0.05).<h4>Conclusions</h4>In this cohort of HIV-1-seropositive mothers, two-thirds of infants acquired CMV by one year. Maternal valacyclovir had no effect on timing of infant CMV acquisition or breast milk CMV viral loads, although it modestly reduced cervical CMV shedding. Maternal prophylaxis to reduce infant CMV acquisition warrants further evaluation in trials with antiviral agents.<h4>Trials registration</h4>ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00530777.
Project description:To summarize the randomized evidence regarding the association between acyclovir use and HIV-1 replication as measured by plasma HIV-1 RNA viral load among individuals coinfected with herpes simplex virus (HSV)-2.Meta-analysis of seven randomized trials conducted between 2000 and 2009. Inclusion criteria composed of acyclovir or valacyclovir use as prophylaxis among individuals coinfected with HIV-1 and HSV-2 who were ineligible for highly active antiretroviral therapy. HIV-1 viral load was the outcome.Random-effects summarization was used to combine treatment effect estimates. Stratified and meta-regression analyses were used to compare estimated treatment effects by characteristics of trials and participants.The summary treatment effect estimate was -0.33 (95% confidence interval: -0.56, -0.10, 95% population effects interval: -0.74, 0.08) log(10) copies, an approximate halving of plasma viral load. However, there was marked heterogeneity (P < 0.001). Older median age, valacyclovir, higher compliance, earlier publication, and shorter study length were associated with a larger decrease in viral load as compared with their counterparts.Current evidence suggests a range of favorable effects of acyclovir on plasma HIV-1 viral load among persons coinfected with HSV-2.
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: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.
Project description:The Partners HSV-2/HIV-1 Transmission Study (Partners Study) is a phase III, placebo-controlled trial of daily acyclovir for genital herpes (HSV-2) suppression among HIV-1/HSV-2 co-infected persons to reduce HIV-1 transmission to their HIV-1 susceptible partners, which requires recruitment of HIV-1 serodiscordant heterosexual couples. We describe the baseline characteristics of this cohort.HIV-1 serodiscordant heterosexual couples, in which the HIV-1 infected partner was HSV-2 seropositive, had a CD4 count >or=250 cells/mcL and was not on antiretroviral therapy, were enrolled at 14 sites in East and Southern Africa. Demographic, behavioral, clinical and laboratory characteristics were assessed.Of the 3408 HIV-1 serodiscordant couples enrolled, 67% of the HIV-1 infected partners were women. Couples had cohabitated for a median of 5 years (range 2-9) with 28% reporting unprotected sex in the month prior to enrollment. Among HIV-1 susceptible participants, 86% of women and 59% of men were HSV-2 seropositive. Other laboratory-diagnosed sexually transmitted infections were uncommon (<5%), except for Trichomonas vaginalis in 14% of HIV-1 infected women. Median baseline CD4 count for HIV-1 infected participants was 462cells/mcL and median HIV-1 plasma RNA was 4.2 log(10) copies/mL. After adjusting for age and African region, correlates of HIV-1 RNA level included male gender (+0.24 log(10) copies/mL; p<0.001) and CD4 count (-0.25 and -0.55 log(10) copies/mL for CD4 350-499 and >500 relative to <350, respectively, p<0.001).The Partners Study successfully enrolled a cohort of 3408 heterosexual HIV-1 serodiscordant couples in Africa at high risk for HIV-1 transmission. Follow-up of this cohort will evaluate the efficacy of acyclovir for HSV-2 suppression in preventing HIV-1 transmission and provide insights into biological and behavioral factors determining heterosexual HIV-1 transmission.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00194519.