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VALTREX AND HIV
Feb 21, 2004

Why is that HIV positive people are advised against taking Valtrex? Does Valtrex suppress the immune system and, if so, to what degree? How would a healthy person's immune system who took supressive doses of Valtrex be affected by the medicine?

Sincerely,

HIV-HERPES-HAVER-WHO-WANTS-VALTREX

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello HIV-Herpes-Haver-Who-Wants-Valtrex, (I'll call you HHHWWV for short or perhaps even H3W2V?)

The warning for Valtrex is for those with severe immunodeficiency. That would include advanced HIV (not just HIV disease). The reason for the warning can be traced to the clinical trials that were done when Valtrex was in development, awaiting FDA approval. Some patients in those clinical trials, who had severe immunodeficiency (those with advanced HIV disease, allogenic bone marrow transplant recipients, renal transplant recipients) developed a condition called Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura/Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. Valtrex does not "suppress the immune system." Talk to your HIV/AIDS specialist. He/she will let you know what your best options would be for herpes, whether it's to prevent outbreaks or treat an active infection.

Well H3W2V,hope that helps!

Dr. Bob



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