Potential Treatment for HSV and HIV Co-Infections

Clinicians are often too aware of the fact that patients’ illnesses rarely come alone. Instead co-morbidities, developed through ageing, life-style or genetic vulnerability, come to play a large role in that persons’ treatment. Patients who present with HIV co-morbid with HSV are often aware of how damaging this combination can be. Yet research rarely focuses on this combination. However, we were recently made aware of research aimed to develop a treatment that deals with both HIV and HSV.

The research team is currently developing a new treatment in Belgium, which is currently known as PMEO-DAPym. It is thought to work by blocking the multiplication of the virus and by making the mucosal tissue harder. In particular it targets the co-called CCR5 receptor, which is novel.

In the most recent study of the treatment the researchers compared the effectiveness of PMEO-DAPym with treatments that are commonly used for HSV and HIV. The other treatments included tenofovir, adefovir and acyclovir. They key findings indicated that overall PMEO-DAPym was as good as or better than the common treatments in most of their tests. However, acyclovir appeared to be more effective than PMEO-DAPym in some of the tests. The researchers suggested that this outcome could potentially have been different if they had used higher dosages of PMEO-DAPym when they were comparing it to acyclovir. Based on this data the researchers argued that more studies are needed to consider whether PMEO-DAPym could be developed to be used for preventative purposes.

The development PMEO-DAPym is still in early stages of development and the research team is waiting for approval to conduct animal studies to test its efficacy in the long-term.

The findings from the most recent study highlight an area that has not received as much attention as is warranted, and we are glad that the research community is putting weight on considering the interaction between these two co-morbidities. However, the information we have to date also clearly indicates that the development of PMEO-DAPym is not likely to come out in the market in the near future. 

For further information on HIV, we recommend http://www.nat.org.uk/