A vaginal gel called, Tenofovir, used to reduce the risk of HIV has been found to reduce the risk of genital herpes.

The anti-HIV/AIDS drug reduces the risk of herpes infection by 51 percent and HIV infections by 39 percent, according to a study released this week in the journal Cell Host and Microbe .

Researchers tested the gel on women in South Africa where there is a large percentage of HIV and herpes risk.

“We demonstrate that the concentration achieved intravaginally with a 1 percent tenofovir topical gel has direct antiherpetic activity,” the authors wrote.

“Tenofovir inhibits the replication of HSV [Herpes Simplex Virus] clinical isolates in human embryonic fibroblasts, keratinocytes, and organotypic epithelial 3D rafts, decreases HSV replication in human lymphoid and cervicovaginal tissues ex vivo, and delays HSV-induced lesions and death in topically treated HSV-infected mice,” the study states.

The tenofovir metabolism substance inhibits HSV DNA-polymerase and HIV reverse transcriptase.

Tenofovir requires topical administration to achieve dual antiviral effects.

With the number of cases of genital herpes going up over 30 percent in the last decade, herpesclinic.com has estimated that about 20 percent of the United States population, have genital herpes and 1 in 4 women have genital herpes, as it is more common in women than men. One in 5 men have genital herpes.

“These findings indicate that a single topical treatment, like tenofovir, can inhibit the transmission of HIV and its co pathogens,” the authors wrote.