SEATTLE (CBS Seattle) – According to a new study, Truvada may help reduce the risk of getting genital herpes.

Truvada is a combination of two other drugs used for the treatment of HIV.

Researchers monitored the risk of getting genital herpes in almost 1,500 African heterosexual adults from Kenya and Uganda who did not have HIV.  These participants were chosen because they were at risk of acquiring HIV because they had an infected partner.

The participants were put into two groups.  One group was given tenofovir and emtricitabine, either alone or in combination.  Truvada contains both drugs. A control group was given a placebo.

The researchers discovered that participant who took tenofovir alone had a 24 percent risk of getting herpes.

The researchers believe that the effects of the drug are not stron enough to convince doctors’ to use either drug solely for the prevention of herpes.

“It is beneficial that oral tenofovir can reduce the risk of acquiring genital herpes as well as HIV,” Dr. Connie Celum, director of the International Clinical Research Center at the University of Washington, and lead author on the study, told Counsel & Heal.

The team of researchers plans to study the effects of tenofovir in preventing HIV and herpes when given in the form of a vaginal and rectal gel and in a vaginal ring.  The researcher also want to examine the effects of the drug in preventing herpes for patients already diagnosed with HIV.

The study lasted between 2008 and 2010, but the researchers continued to monitor the participants until 2011.

The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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