With Proper Drugs, HIV-Positive Patients Have Low Risk For Sexual Transmission
A new study finds that patients who are HIV-positive and taking antiretroviral drugs have a low risk of spreading the virus to their partner, even if they are not using condoms. Doctors, however, warn about placing too much weight on the findings.
HIV Drugs Protect Against Transmission, Even In Unprotected Sex
Couples in which one partner is HIV-positive have a low risk of transmitting the disease if the infected partner is on antiretroviral drugs, a new study found, even if they are not using condoms. Scientist have been studying for decades whether HIV-positive individuals who take certain combinations of drugs, called antiretroviral therapy (ART), will infect their partners with the virus. A landmark study, which mostly enrolled heterosexual couples, found that ART taken by infected individuals reduced the risk of HIV transmission by 96 percent. (Swetlitz, 7/12)
Los Angeles Times:
Safe Sex Without Condoms? With Drugs Keeping HIV In Check, Infected Partners Didn't Spread Virus
Altogether, the researchers counted more than 58,000 acts of unsafe sex. And the total number of times an HIV-positive person infected his or her partner? Zero. That’s not to say the condom-less sex was totally safe. Between 17% and 18% of the men who had sex with men were diagnosed with a new sexually transmitted infection, as were 6% of the men and women in heterosexual relationships. In addition, 11 of the 888 volunteers who were HIV-negative at the start of the study became infected with the virus after they enrolled. But in all of these cases, the newly acquired virus didn’t match the one the partner had. (Kaplan, 7/12)