While valacyclovir, a prodrug of acyclovir, is used to control the virus that causes genital herpes, a small study by National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers and their colleagues reveals that the drug also directly affects HIV replication (Vanpouille C et al. Clin Infect Dis. 2015;pii:civ172).
Previous research showed that acyclovir reduces HIV levels in patients co-infected with HIV and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), the virus that causes genital herpes, but the effect was attributed to the suppression of HSV-2–triggered systemic inflammation.
Hampton T. Antiherpes Drug May Suppress HIV Levels. JAMA. 2015;313(16):1608. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3823