Question

I have been positive since 1997. I was on medication and undetectable until 2003, then my doctor and I decided to get off the medications. My viral load slowly moved up and hovered between 25,000 and 30,000 and my CD4 count was around 500 to 700. In April 2007 my CD4 was 513, %20 and viral load 12015. In July, I took Valtrex for three days to treat a cold sore, two days later, I had a blood test and my CD4 was 448, %20 and a viral load of 2888.

Has any research been done on the effect of Valtrex and HIV? Also with my viral load lower should I expect my CD4 to rise?

Thanks for you help

Answer

Valtrex itself does not have activity against HIV. However, herpes infections can cause the HIV viral load to increase because herpes activates CD4 cells and causes them to increase HIV replication, hence the increase in viral load. Although your viral load is lower, it is not undetectable. Therefore, I would not expect your CD4 count to increase much.