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boyfriend, sex, hiv +

Nov 23, 2008

I am a gay man, I have been seeing a man for about 1 year now, he has been hiv positive for over 10 years. He is on medication and has been for 10 years, I read an article which said one could have unprotected sex with a partner who is hiv+ though is on medication and has had a low-count for the past 6 months. Can someone, anyone please clue me in as to what this means, and if it is even true?

Response from Dr. DeJesus

You are referring to "The Swiss Cohort statement," a statement made by a group of European experts about the risk of HIV transmission by a person suppressed on HAART to their sero-negative partner.

After extensive evaluation of epidemiologic and clinical data they concluded that the chances that an HIV positive individual, who is virologically suppressed (viral load undetectable (less than 50 copies/mL) for more than 6 months, and that is taking the medications with good adherence, and that does not have any genital lesions (sexually transmitted disease, such as syphilis or herpes), will pass the infection to a sero-negative partner by unprotected sexual intercourse is almost zero.

One important consideration is that this analysis only included heterosexual couples engaging in monogamous vaginal intercourse. These findings cannot (and must not) be generalized to the homosexual population, or to anal-receptive intercourse. In fact, since this Swiss statement was made public, a case was reported of a previously negative male converting into positive after engaging in unprotected anal intercourse with his sero-positive partner, who has been virologically suppressed for over a year.

So, in a nutshell, continue to use condoms during anal intercourse.

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