Herpes sheds despite high-dose antivirals

Asymptomatic genital herpes can reactivate even during high-dose antiviral therapy, suggesting such treatment fails to limit the spread of the disease, a study finds.

The US study of 90 people with herpes simplex virus type 2 found short episodes of symptom-free shedding persisted with both standard and high-dose aciclovir and valaciclovir.

The highest doses of valaciclovir reduced HSV shedding by 50% compared with the standard dose of the drug, however, the rate of breakthrough shedding episodes did not change — about 16-20 episodes a year, the study found.

Writing in the Lancet,

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