Risk of recurrence after treatment of first-episode genital herpes with intravenous acyclovir

Lawrence Corey, Adrian Mindel, Kenneth H. Fife, Sheena Sutherland, Jacqueline Benedetti, Michael W. Adler Md

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


To determine whether intravenous acyclovir treatment for a first episode of genital herpes could prevent or reduce subsequent recurrences, we combined and analyzed the results of two in­dependently conducted, randomized, double-blind, placebo-con­trolled studies. Sixty-one patients were enrolled in the two trials; 30 received the drug, and 31 received placebo. At entry the de­mographic, epidemiologic, and clinical features of acyclovir- and placebo-treated patients from the two centers showed no signif­icant differences. The median time to the first recurrence and the frequency of recurrences showed no significant differences when acyclovir and placebo recipients infected with either herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) were compared. However, irrespective of treatment, the median time to the first recurrence was significantly longer (293 days vs. 69 days; P < .02) and the frequency of recurrence significantly less (0.11 recurrences per month vs. 0.43 recurrences per month; P < .01) among patients with HSV-1 infection as compared with those who had HSV-2. It is concluded that in patients with first-attack genital herpes, the type of HSV is the most important determinant of subsequent recurrences and that intravenous acyclovir has little effect on subsequent recurrences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-218
Number of pages4
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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