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Female to male transmission with undetectable viral loads.
Jul 1, 2009

What is known about the risk of female to male transmission from an HIV+ female taking antiretroviral medication, with a long history (10+ years) of undetectable viral loads? I'm trying to ascertain what is known about how risky unprotected sex would be. Thank you!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

The estimated statistical per-episode risk of unprotected insertive penile-vaginal sex with a partner confirmed to be HIV positive is 5 per 10,000 exposures. If the poz-person is on effective combination antiretroviral drugs that have driven her HIV plasma viral load to undetectable levels, the risk of any type of HIV transmission decreases considerably, but does not become nonexistent.

To answer your basic question, unprotected sex with someone confirmed to be HIV positive but who has an undetectable viral load continues to be "risky business!"

Stay safe to stay well. Cover your stump before you hump.

Dr. Bob



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