Most HIV-infected persons are also infected with HSV-2, which is the major cause of genital herpes. Prior studies demonstrated that the risk of passing HIV to a sexual partner is greater when the HIV-infected person has genital ulcers caused by HSV. Previous studies among HIV/HSV-2 co-infected persons and test-tube research have also demonstrated that HIV levels are increased during genital HSV reactivation.
In a pilot study of the effect of HSV-2 suppression on levels of HIV infectiousness, Connie Celum, MD, MPH, Richard Zuckerman, MD, MPH, and a team of researchers at the University of Washington and the research organization Impacta, in Lima, Peru performed a randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over study of daily HSV suppressive treatment in a small group of HIV/HSV-2 co-infected men who have sex with men.
Twenty men aged 22 to 41 enrolled in this trial, which took place in Peru. The men studied had no prior antiretroviral therapy and were not currently receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection. Subjects were randomly assigned to the anti-HSV drug, valacyclovir 500 mg, twice daily or matching placebo for initial treatment. After eight weeks, subjects had a “washout period” in which they received twice daily placebo. Subjects then crossed over to the alternative treatment (placebo or valacyclovir) for eight weeks. Participants visited the clinic three times a week during each treatment arm. At each visit, rectal secretions were collected and weekly blood samples were obtained to determine levels of HIV.
Dr. Celum and her team of researchers found significantly reduced levels of HIV in blood by about 50 percent and rectal secretions by about 30 percent during the 8 weeks when the HIV/HSV-2 co-infected men received valacyclovir to suppress reactivation of HSV. This reduction in HIV levels could have a significant impact on transmission of HIV. Since the only intervention was daily valacyclovir to suppress HSV, this study adds weight to the other evidence that HSV-2 reactivation increases HIV replication. According to the researchers, additional “ongoing randomized trials will answer whether HSV suppression can reduce HIV transmission and address the potential for HSV suppression to delay anti-HIV therapy (antiretroviral) initiation.”
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10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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