Author(s): Schacker T, Ryncarz AJ, Goddard J, Diem K, Shaughnessy M, , Schacker T, Ryncarz AJ, Goddard J, Diem K, Shaughnessy M,
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Abstract CONTEXT: Genital ulcer disease has been epidemiologically linked as a risk factor in the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1). While herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is the most common cause of genital ulcers, no study has systematically evaluated the frequency or titer of HIV-1 virus in HSV-2 lesions. OBJECTIVE: To compare lesional HIV-1 RNA levels during and after genital HSV-2 reactivation and to evaluate the frequency, titer, and duration of HIV-1 RNA shedding in lesions due to HSV-2. DESIGN: Convenience sample. SETTING: Sexually transmitted disease research clinic at the University of Washington, Seattle. PATIENTS: Twelve HIV-infected men with a history of symptomatic HSV-2 infection who underwent daily sampling of genital lesions for HIV-1 RNA by polymerase chain reaction assay and HSV-2 by culture. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Detection of lesional HIV RNA and HSV-2. RESULTS: HIV-1 RNA was detected from lesional swabs in 25 of 26 consecutively studied HSV-2 episodes and on 67\% of days in which genital lesions were noted. The HIV-1 RNA titers in lesional swabs exceeded 10000 copies/mL of swab sample in 75\% of samples (range, 2.2-3.2 x 10(5) copies/mL of swab sample). HIV-1 RNA in genital lesion swabs was seen in persons with high and low titers of plasma HIV-1 RNA and was not associated with plasma HIV-1 RNA levels. CONCLUSIONS: HIV-1 virions can consistently be detected in genital ulcers caused by HSV-2, which suggests that genital herpes infection likely increases the efficiency of the sexual transmission of HIV-1.
This article was published in JAMA
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research