August 3, 2016 – Transmitting HIV


Anchor lead:  A new study demonstrates how well medicines to keep HIV in check work, Elizabeth Tracey reports

If your partner is infected with HIV but you aren’t, standard recommendations say use a condom during sex, but many people do not.  Now a recent study reports what happened to thousands of these couples over time.  Joseph Cofrancesco, an HIV expert at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Cofrancesco: This study looked at 14 different European countries. And had over 1000 couples where one member of the couple was positive and one member of the couple was negative, and they had been not using condoms for sexual encounters.  And they were followed for many years.  There were no transmissions of HIV from the positive partner to the negative partner.  :22

Cofrancesco says the study provides proof of principle.

Cofrancesco: The basic fact is that if someone is HIV positive, taking their meds religiously and having an undetectable viral load they do not transmit HIV to anyone.  :12

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.