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Does this mean i cant transfer the HIV virus?
Aug 5, 2007

Dear Bob,

Just saw an update from

http://www.thebody.com/updates/2007-03-01.html

Herpes Treatment Can Control Herpes and HIV Viral Load, Study Finds Treatment with the herpes drug Valtrex (valacyclovir) not only reduces the viral load of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), but also reduces HIV viral load in women coinfected with HIV and HSV-2, according to new study results. Although its HIV-fighting ability was modest, the suppressive effects of Valtrex on HIV viral load appeared to increase with time, and were enough to suggest the drug may help slow HIV disease progression. However, more studies are needed to confirm these results. (Web highlight from aidsmap.com)

My situation here is that I had an exposure in 2001, and was identified as HSV2 positive and the doctor gave me Valtrex for 15 days at that time. After that I never used Valtrex.

My question is that based upon the new research which states that "Treatment with the herpes drug Valtrex (valacyclovir) not only reduces the viral load of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), but also reduces HIV viral load in women coinfected with HIV and HSV-2, according to new study results. Although its HIV-fighting ability was modest, the suppressive effects of Valtrex on HIV viral load appeared to increase with time, and were enough to suggest the drug may help slow HIV disease progression."

Does this mean if I am HIV positive, the viral load is decreased because I took valtrex 6 years back? and does this also mean that I cannot transfer the HIV virus to anyone, if i am HIV positive because my HIV viral load is low according to the new study. Does this mean that i can have unprotected sex and not transmit the virus to anyone.

I have to get tested for HIV, i had a high risk exposure.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I am at a complete loss as to how you could make such a ludicrous assumption based on what's written in that summary report!

The preliminary study found evidence suggesting Valtrex may "modestly" suppress HIV viral load. To make the quantum lead that such a statement indicates someone who took 15 days worth of Valtrex six years ago would now no longer be able to transmit HIV and therefore could have unprotected sex is so absurd it smacks of something that would come out of the mouth of Alberto Gonzales, Dick Cheney, or Dubya.

The one thing I do agree with in your post is your final statement: if you had a high risk exposure, you need to get an HIV test!

Dr. Bob



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