OBJECTIVE: To discuss strategies available for the treatment of herpesvirus infections in individuals infected with HIV. DATA SOURCES: Information was obtained from controlled and uncontrolled clinical trials, abstracts, conference proceedings, and review articles. STUDY SELECTION: Emphasis was placed on controlled investigations in subjects infected with HIV. DATA EXTRACTION: Data from human studies were extracted by the author and evaluated according to the patient population studied, sample size, dosage regimen, and therapeutic response. DATA SYNTHESIS: Herpes group viruses are common opportunistic pathogens in HIV-infected individuals. Zoster, caused by varicella-zoster virus (VZV), is an early indication of the loss of cell-mediated immunity and HIV disease progression. Anorectal mucocutaneous disease is the most common manifestation caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV). Acyclovir is the drug of choice for treatment of both VZV and HSV infections. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common life- threatening viral infection in patients with AIDS; retinitis is the most frequent clinical manifestation. The response rate of CMV retinitis to initial treatment with either ganciclovir or foscarnet is equivalent, approximately 60-90 percent. Recent data suggest that the survival benefit may be greater with foscarnet. CONCLUSIONS: Advances in the development and application of antiviral drugs for herpes group viruses have made treatment and, in some cases, prevention of infections possible. Future efforts, aimed at earlier intervention and suppression of latent virus, may offer additional improvement in quality of life for the HIV-infected individual.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)