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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
           
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Treatment as prevention
Nov 7, 2009

Should I insist on beginnging treatment earlier to make me less infectious? I was reading about a study which suggests that on effective treatment with an undetectable viral load the risk of trasmission is very close to zero. It would be the same as dying in car accident.

Response from Dr. Henry

Achieving consistent undetectable HIV levels on antiretroviral therapy does decrease infectiousness. How close to zero the risk is over decades of time remains uncertain. Decreasing HIV transmission is one of the arguments for starting treatment earlier. Unfortunately in some populations less use of safe sex in that setting and a persistent at least low risk for transmission has resulted in some increases in new cases so both treatment and safe sex simultaneously are the best available short and long term approach to decreasing HIV transmission. KH



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