Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Epidemiology poster session 5: Transmission dynamic: coinfection
P1-S5.25 Acyclovir and transmission of HSV-2 from HSV-2/HIV-1 dually infected persons
  1. A Mujugira1,
  2. A Margaret1,
  3. C Celum1,
  4. J Lingappa1,
  5. J Baeten1,
  6. K Fife2,
  7. G De Bruyn3,
  8. E Bukusi4,
  9. L Corey1,
  10. A Wald1
  1. 1University of Washington, Seattle, USA
  2. 2Indiana University, USA
  3. 3University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  4. 4Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kenya


Background Daily suppressive therapy with valacyclovir reduces the risk of sexual transmission of HSV-2 in healthy HSV-2 serodiscordant heterosexual couples by 48%. Whether suppressive therapy reduces HSV-2 transmission from persons who have both HIV-1 and HSV-2 is unknown.

Methods Within a randomised trial of daily acyclovir 400 mg bid in African HIV-1 serodiscordant couples, in which the HIV-1 infected partner was HSV-2 seropositive, we identified partnerships in which the HIV-1 susceptible partners were HSV-2 seronegative. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used.

Results We followed 911 HIV-1 and HSV-2 serodiscordant couples for a median of 18 months (IQR 3, 24). For 112 couples (12%), the HIV-1/HSV-2 infected partner was male, of whom 37% (34/91) were circumcised. 68 HSV-2 seroconversions were observed (an incidence of 5.1 per 100 person-years): 40 in the acyclovir group and 28 in the placebo group (HR 1.4, 95% CI 0.8 to 2.2; p=0.2). In a multivariate analysis of HSV-2 susceptible women, hormonal contraception (HR 3.84, 95% CI 1.32 to 11.14, p=0.013) and having an uncircumcised male partner (HR 8.91, 95% CI 1.17 to 67.85, p=0.035) were significant risk factors for HSV-2 acquisition. Among HSV-2 susceptible men, younger age was the only significant HSV-2 risk factor (p=0.014).

Conclusions Suppressive acyclovir therapy did not decrease the risk of HSV-2 transmission within HSV-2-serodiscordant couples in which the HSV-2-seropositive partner also had HIV-1 infection. Hormonal contraceptive use and lack of male circumcision in the HIV-1/HSV-2 dually infected male partners increased the risk of HSV-2 acquisition among initially HSV-2 seronegative women.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.