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Medical News

High Levels of HIV in Genital Secretions Predict Infectiousness

April 15, 2011

HIV-1 RNA concentrations in semen and vaginal secretions can be used as a marker for HIV transmission risk, suggests a new two-year study of serodiscordant heterosexual couples in Africa. The relation was independent of plasma HIV-1 concentrations, noted Dr. Jared Baeten, of the University of Washington-Seattle, and colleagues.

Researchers for years have known of the link between HIV concentration in the blood and the risk of transmission, Baeten said. However, no studies have been large enough to conclusively establish the same for HIV in genital secretions, beyond a working hypothesis, he said.

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