Treatment with valacyclovir, famciclovir, or antiretrovirals reduces human herpesvirus-8 replication in HIV-1 seropositive men.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of medical virology, Volume 83, Issue 10, p.1696-703 (2011)


2011, Center-Authored Paper, Clinical Research Division, Public Health Sciences Division, September 2011, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division


Human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) replication is a key factor in Kaposi sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and Castleman disease pathogenesis. In vitro data suggest that antivirals inhibit HHV-8 replication, but little data exist in humans. Daily oropharyngeal swabs were analyzed from HIV/HHV-8 dually infected men enrolled in three previous clinical trials of valacyclovir and famciclovir for HIV-1 and/or HSV-2 suppression. Fifty-eight participants contributed 6,036 swabs. HHV-8 was detected in 1,128 (19%) of 6,036 swabs, including 618 (21%) of 2,992 on placebo, 323 (15%) of 2,221 on valacyclovir, and 187 (23%) of 823 on famciclovir. After adjusting for baseline HIV viral load and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use, an 18% reduction in HHV-8 shedding frequency (IRR 0.822; P = 0.011) was found in participants on valacyclovir and a 30% reduction (IRR 0.700; P < 0.001) on famciclovir. HAART was associated with an 89% (IRR 0.129; P = 0.048) reduction in HHV-8-shedding. Neither antiviral nor antiretroviral therapy was associated with decreased HHV-8 quantity. Valacyclovir and famciclovir were associated with modest but significant reductions in HHV-8 oropharyngeal shedding frequency. In contrast, HAART was a potent inhibitor of HHV-8 replication. Studies of whether antiviral therapy in combination with ART will prevent HHV-8-associated disease appear warranted. J. Med. Virol. 83:1696-1703, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.