Herpes and HIV: When You Have Both

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  • Apparently having HIV means you may also be likely to get herpes. The co-infection rates are quite high and add significant health burdens on an individual when they have HIV and then they get herpes.  What's also known is that when someone with HIV gets herpes, the herpes can actually enhance further progression of the HIV viral load.  Also people with both viruses can transmit HIV more easily to others. Finally if you have herpes, it makes you more susceptible to HIV.


    Acyclovir has seemed to be ineffective in studies looking at its possible treatment value in HIV therapy plans.  BUT, researchers recently discovered that if you give acyclovir to someone who has HIV and herpes - the drug attacks HIV directly and supresses its reproduction.  This is a huge discovery, because in developing parts of the world where rates of co-infection are high - this could now be an important tool in the war on HIV.  Since on average 3 drugs are needed to hold HIV in check - acyclovir is a relatively cheap drug and could now be used as one of the 3 treatment drugs in people with HIV and herpes.

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Published On: September 19, 2008