Both Drugs and Condoms Needed to Stop HIV: Study
July 25, 2008
People with HIV on effective antiretroviral therapy should not stop using condoms on the assumption their infection is not sexually transmissible, a new study reports. In fact, HIV infections could quadruple if those responding well to antiretrovirals stopped using condoms, said Australian researchers.
"The expected number of HIV infections would be 215 for female-to-male transmissions, 425 for male-to-female transmission, and 3,524 for male-to-male transmission, corresponding to an increase in incidence of four times compared with incidence under current rates of condom use," said the study, which was conducted by a team at Sydney's National Center in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research.
"When the viral load goes down in the blood due to antiretrovirals, it might not go down in the semen or vaginal and anal fluids," said Australasian Society for HIV Medicine President Jonathan Anderson, who was not involved in the research. "Antiretrovirals can complement consistent condom use, but replacing condom use with medications may end in disaster."
The report, "Relation Between HIV Viral Load and Infectiousness: A Model-Based Analysis," was published in The Lancet (2008;372:314-320).
07.24.2008; Tan Ee Lyn