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Once daily valacyclovir for reducing viral shedding in subjects newly diagnosed with genital herpes.

Author(s): Martens MG, Fife KH, Leone PA, Dix LP, Brennan CA

Affiliation(s): Planned Parenthood of Arkansas, Tulsa, OK 74105, USA. mgmartens@aol.com

Publication date & source: 2009, Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol., 2009:105376. Epub 2009 Aug 10.

Publication type: Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

OBJECTIVE: Genital herpes (GH) recurrences and viral shedding are more frequent in the first year after initial HSV-2 infection. The objective of this study was to provide the first evaluation of valacyclovir 1 g once daily compared to placebo in reducing viral shedding in subjects newly diagnosed with GH. METHODS: 70 subjects were randomized to receive valacyclovir 1 g daily or placebo in a crossover design for 60 days with a 7-day washout period. A daily swab of the genital/anal-rectal area was self-collected for HSV-2 detection by PCR. Subjects attended the clinic for routine study visits and GH recurrence visits. Treatment differences were assessed using a nonparametric crossover analysis. RESULTS: 52 subjects had at least one PCR measurement in both treatment periods and comprised the primary efficacy population. Valacyclovir significantly reduced HSV-2 shedding during all days compared to placebo (mean 2.9% versus 13.5% of all days (P < .01), a 78% reduction). Valacyclovir significantly reduced subclinical HSV-2 shedding during all days compared to placebo (mean 2.4% versus 11.0% of all days (P < .01), a 78% reduction). However, 79% of subjects had no GH recurrences while receiving valacyclovir compared to 52% of subjects receiving placebo (P < .01). CONCLUSION: In this study, the frequency of total and subclinical HSV-2 shedding was greater than reported in earlier studies involving subjects with a history of symptomatic genital recurrences. Our study is the first to demonstrate a significant reduction in viral shedding with valacyclovir 1 g daily compared to placebo in a population of subjects newly diagnosed with HSV-2 infection.

Page last updated: 2009-10-20

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