Human Herpesviruses as Copathogens of HIV Infection, Their Role in HIV Transmission, and Disease Progression.

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Munawwar A, Singh S,

Munawwar A, Singh S, (click to view)

Munawwar A, Singh S,

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Journal of laboratory physicians 8(1) 5-18 doi 10.4103/0974-2727.176228


Of eight human herpesviruses (HHVs), often, only herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2) find mention in medical literature as both of these viruses are commonly associated with genital lesions and oral ulcers, commonly known as cold sores. However, role of human herpesviruses as copathogens and in aggravation and in the transmission of other human diseases, especially the Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) has only very recently been recognized. Therefore, screening and treating subclinical HHV infections may offer slowing of HIV infection, disease progression, and its transmission. Beside HSV-1 and HSV-2, HHV-3 a causative agent of herpes zoster remained one of the first manifestations of HIV disease before the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). HHV-5 also known as human Cytomegalovirus infection remains a significant risk factor for HIV-associated mortality and morbidity even in HAART era. It is proposed that Cytomegalovirus viremia could be a better predictor of HIV disease progression than CD4+ T-lymphocyte count. The role of HHV-4 or Epstein-Burr virus and HHV-6, HHV-7, and HHV-8 is still being investigated in HIV disease progression. This review provides insight into the current understanding about these 8 HHVs, their co-pathogenesis, and role in HIV/AIDS disease progression. The review also covers recent literature in favor and against administering anti-HHV treatment along with HAART for slower AIDS progression and interrupted sexual transmission.

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