Largest HIV transmission study conducted

hiv
HIV infecting a human cell. Credit: NIH

A new study has found that neither gay men nor heterosexual people with HIV transmit the virus to their partner, provided they are on suppressive antiretroviral treatment.

The PARTNER study, which is the world's largest study of people with HIV who have had condomless sex with their HIV negative , was conducted by investigators from the University of Liverpool, University College London, Royal Free NHS and Rigshospitalet (one of the largest hospitals in Denmark).

This work was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and was sponsored by UCL (University College London).

More than 800 couples monitored

The study monitored 888 from 14 different European countries, in which one of the partners was on effective for HIV. Of the 888 couples, 548 were heterosexual and 340 were .

All the couples had sex regularly without using a condom. They have now been monitored for several years and not one instance of transmission of the virus has been recorded. The results have just been published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.

In the period following the study, a total of 11 HIV-negative partners were infected with HIV. Led by Professor Anna Maria Geretti, researchers from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Infection and Global Health undertook phylogenetic analyses of the 11 new HIV cases and their partners' virus.

No HIV transmission between couples

Professor Geretti, said: "The HIV virus can be divided into several sub-groups, each with its own genetic characteristics, and this makes it possible to see whether the virus is genetically similar to a partner's. In all cases the results showed that the virus came from someone other than the partner under treatment.

"This research is vital for us to gain an even better understanding the risks associated with this particular ."

Professor Jens Lundgren from Rigshospitalet, senior author of the study and head of CHIP (the Centre for Health and Infectious Diseases), said: "The results clearly show that early diagnosis of HIV and access to are crucial for reducing the number of new HIV cases. As soon as a patient with HIV is on treatment with a suppressed viral load, the risk of transmission becomes minimal."

More data on the way

Gay couples in the study will continue to be monitored for three more years to obtain even more data in this area for anal sex.

The results of the second part of the PARTNER study, which will only monitor gay men, are expected in 2018.


Explore further

New study tests the effectiveness of at-home HIV testing for male couples

More information: The results of the study can be found here: jama.jamanetwork.com/journal.aspx
Read more about the PARTNER Study here: www.chip.dk/PARTNER
Citation: Largest HIV transmission study conducted (2016, July 12) retrieved 18 September 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-07-largest-hiv-transmission.html
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PPS
Jul 12, 2016
They were infected. It just took longer to show up because they were on suppressant meds lol. As was proven by 11 of the participants getting HIV after the study. There is no cure for HIV. Wear protection or don't and get HIV lol.

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