Tenofovir gel for prevention of herpes simplex virus type 2 acquisition: Findings from the VOICE trial

Academic Article


  • Background. Genital infection with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is common and increases risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission and acquisition. Pericoital use of tenofovir (TFV) gel provided protection from HSV-2 acquisition in the CAPRISA 004 study. Methods. We measured estimate of effect of vaginal TFV 1% gel in preventing HSV-2 acquisition among women in VOICE, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial assessing daily use of oral and vaginal TFV for HIV-1 preexposure prophylaxis. The TFV level in plasma at the first quarterly visit was used as a measure of gel use. Results. Of 566 participants at risk for HSV-2 acquisition, 532 (94%) had first-quarter plasma TFV and end-of-study HSV-2 serologic data available. Over a follow-up period of 501 person-years, 92 incident cases of HSV-2 acquisition occurred: 77 were in women with no TFV detected in plasma, and 15 occurred in women with TFV detected in plasma (incidence, 20.6 cases/100 personyears [95% confidence interval [CI], 16.2-25.7] vs 11.9 cases/100 person-years [95% CI, 6.6-19.6], respectively). TFV detection in plasma was associated with a trend toward a reduced risk of HSV-2 seroconversion, with an unadjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 0.59 (95% CI,.34-1.02; P =.060) and a HR adjusted for site, age, having ≥2 male sex partners in the past 3 months, use of hormonal contraception, having anal sex in the past 3 months, and HIV status of 0.60 (95% CI,.33-1.08; P =.086). Conclusions. Detection of TFV in plasma among TFV gel users was associated with a trend toward a reduced risk of HSV-2 acquisition, after controlling for sexual behavior and HIV-1 acquisition.
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    Author List

  • Marrazzo JM; Rabe L; Kelly C; Richardson B; Deal C; Schwartz JL; Chirenje ZM; Piper J; Morrow RA; Hendrix CW
  • Start Page

  • 1940
  • End Page

  • 1947
  • Volume

  • 219
  • Issue

  • 12