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HIV R4P: Vaginal Rings Show Promise for HIV Prevention

A silicone intravaginal ring that releases the antiretroviral drugs dapivirine and darunavir was shown to reach levels expected to be effective in vaginal and cervical fluid and tissues in monkeys, researchers reported at the HIV Research for Prevention meeting last week in Cape Town. A related study found that a single ring can potentially serve multiple purposes, preventing HIV, genital herpes, HPV, and pregnancy.

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HIV R4P: Tenofovir Gel Associated with Lower Herpes Simplex Risk for Women

The risk of acquiring herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) was reduced by 46% among women who regularly used a vaginal gel containing tenofovir, according to a secondary analysis of the VOICE trial presented at the HIV Research for Prevention conference (R4P) this week in Cape Town. There was no significant difference in the age, marital status, country, practice of anal sex, HIV status, or hormonal contraceptive use between women who acquired HSV-2 and those who did not.

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Researchers Report Setbacks on Herpes Simplex Vaccine and Treatment

An experimental herpes simplex virus (HSV) vaccine partially protected women against infection with HSV type 1 but not type 2, according to a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Another recent study found that antiviral treatment with acyclovir (Zovirax) or valacyclovir (Valtrex) did not prevent periodic HSV-2 reactivation and viral shedding.alt

HIV R4P: Model Suggests More Frequent Truvada PrEP Needed for Vaginal vs Anal Sex

Tenofovir reaches lower levels in vaginal and cervical tissue compared with rectal tissue, helping to explain why pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) did not protect women as much as gay and bisexual men in clinical trials, and suggesting that women having vaginal sex may need to take PrEP more often than people having anal sex, researchers reported at the HIV Research for Prevention meeting this week in Cape Town.

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Tenofovir Microbicide Gel May Prevent Genital Herpes in Addition to HIV Infection

A vaginal gel containing the HIV nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor tenofovir (known as Viread in pill form, also in the Truvada and Atripla coformulations) inhibits replication of herpes simplex virus, researchers reported in the October 4, 2011, issue of Cell Host and Microbes. Tenofovir gel has already been shown to reduce HIV infection by about 40%, and the new findings suggest it may have a dual benefit.alt

Helicase Inhibitor Pritelivir Shows Promise Against Genital Herpes

Pritelivir, a helicase inhibitor that interferes with viral replication, reduced the rate of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) genital shedding, which has the potential to reduce sexual transmission, according to a small study described in the January 16, 2014, New England Journal of Medicine.

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IAS 2011: Anti-Herpes Drugs Reduce HIV Viral Load, Slow Disease Progression

Several studies presented at the 6th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011) last month in Rome showed that treating herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) with acyclovir or valacyclovir (Valtrex) reduced HIV viral load and slowed disease progression.

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Herpes Simplex and Cytomegalovirus Linked to Cognitive Impairment

Latent herpes simplex virus (HSV) or cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection may contribute to impaired cognitive processing for people of all age groups, possibly due to resulting inflammation, according to study results published in the November 18, 2013, advance edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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Genital Herpes Virus Can Spread Despite Lack of Symptoms

People without genital sores or other symptoms can still shed and transmit herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) during sex, according to a recent U.S. study. alt

ICAAC 2013: Novel Therapeutic Vaccine Reduces Genital Herpes Shedding

An experimental immune-modulating vaccine significantly reduced shedding of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) in people with recurrent genital herpes, according to a late-breaker presentation at the 53rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2013) this week in Denver. The vaccine appeared safe and well-tolerated.

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Oral Tenofovir Does Not Reduce Herpes Virus Shedding

HIV positive people who took tenofovir (Viread, also in the Truvada and Atripla combination pills) as part of their antiretroviral regimen were no less likely to shed herpes simplex virus 1 or 2 (HSV-1 or HSV-2) than individuals using non-tenofovir regimens, according to research described in the January 14, 2011, issue of AIDS. These findings are notable because a recent microbicide study found that a tenofovir gel reduced the likelihood of HSV-2 infection.