Question

I am HIV+ and have had Candida on my mouth for about five months now. The doctor subscribed Valtrex, (1gr, 3 times daily). After the candida persisted I did a research and I found not a single indication on the net that would suggest treating candida with Valtrex, plus my dosage seems somewhat high considering that people use Valtrex as much as I do only for shingles and for a short period of time while I am on the drug for the second time for almost a month. Given the fact that I am about to start HIV medication, I am a little worried about my doctor's choices. Hope you can help me on that. Thank You.

Answer

Hello and thanks for your post.

Indeed, valacyclovir (Valtrex) does not treat Candida infections (including thrush that you seem to have). The medication is used to treat and prevent recurrent herpes and zoster viral infections; to this regard, it's quite possible that your doctor is using Valtrex to prevent painful recurrence of your shingles. Indeed, for patients not yet on HIV medications, prevention of herpes infections is associated with lower HIV viral loads and possibly, slower disease progression.

Persistent Candida infection alone could be a reason to start HIV treatment; directed treatment of Candida usually involves the use of medications like fluconazole (Diflucan).

Seems to me that you may have a simple miscommunication about the reasons and goals of your treatment(s).

I hope this helps.

Be well, BY