Another study finds antiretrovirals stop transmission of HIV between gay sexual partners

Another study finds antiretrovirals stop transmission of HIV between gay sexual partners

"This powerful message can help end the HIV pandemic by preventing HIV transmission, and tackling the stigma and discrimination that many people with HIV face."Increased efforts must now focus on wider dissemination of this powerful message and ensuring that all HIV-positive people have access to testing, effective treatment, adherence support and linkage to care to help maintain an undetectable viral load".

The study was conducted by a team of investigators, in collaboration with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and used population-based HIV surveillance data to understand if the timeliness of HIV diagnosis and antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiation improved since "universal treatment" was first recommended. But genetic tests showed that the transmissions were a result of the HIV-negative men having sexual relations with someone other than their regular partner.

15 men did get the infection but it was because they had intercourse with some others who were not undergoing the treatment rather than just their partners.

"They support the message. that an undetectable viral load makes HIV untransmittable". "Hearing this can be tremendously engaging and consoling to individuals living with HIV", as indicated by - Deborah Gold, CEO of National Aids Trust, a not-for-profit philanthropy association in the United Kingdom.

Bruce Richman, the founding executive director of the Prevention Access Campaign, which launched U=U, told The Guardian that the study "has forever changed what it means to live and love with HIV around the world".

She added: "Our findings provide conclusive evidence for gay men that the risk of HIV transmission with suppressive antiretroviral therapy is zero". Penetrative anal sex is associated with a higher risk of HIV, but too few gay couples were included in the original PARTNER study to provide a similar level of evidence as for heterosexual couples.

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"Diagnosis of HIV infection is hard in the early stages of infection when transmission is very efficient, and this limitation also compromises the treatment as prevention strategy."According to the National Aids Trust, 97% of people on HIV treatment in the United Kingdom have an undetectable level of the virus, meaning they can not pass it on".

There is hope for 1.5 million Kenyans living with HIV, as a study done for eight years revealed that taking antiretroviral drugs consistently reduces the chances of transmission. The results confirm the assumption of many researchers that HIV-positive people, is to be found in their blood, thanks to the treatment, no Virus, not contagious. The study suggests that if the transmission of HIV could be stopped using the drugs, the further spread of the virus could be stopped.

The researchers, however, reported that 15 men were later diagnosed with HIV.

Scientists tested more than 1,000 couples where one partner had HIV.

Rodger said what the study shows is that the risk of transmission is zero with ART treatment "and that's quite new and important".

The department thanked the USA for their continued support, which will enable South Africa to move towards epidemic control.

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