Thursday, October 21, 2010

No condom use after recent viral load test safer than intermittent condom use

From aidsmap, by Roger Peabody

In stable gay couples, where one partner is taking HIV treatment and the other is HIV-negative, the risk of HIV transmission is relatively low if condoms are not used following a recent undetectable viral load test result. However, using condoms on a few more occasions but without reference to viral load substantially increases the risk of HIV transmission.  These are the findings of a mathematical modelling study, drawing on detailed data on viral loads in Dutch gay men, published online ahead of print in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

The model suggests that during the entire period that a first-line treatment regimen is taken, the risk of HIV transmission would be 1% if condoms are used all the time, 3% if condoms are not used after an undetectable viral load test in the past six months, 17% if condoms are used 30% of the time, and 22% if condoms are never used.

The model was designed to test the proposition put forward in the Swiss statement: that in long-term, serodiscordant couples, a decision to give up using condoms can be safely made as long as the HIV-positive partner is adhering to HIV treatment and has had an undetectable viral load for at least six months.

Read the rest

Read the article in Sexually Transmitted Infections

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