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Study Finds “Zero Risk” of HIV Transmission During Drug Treatment

May 3rd 19__Kristin Houser__Filed Under: Health & Medicine
Shutterstock/Victor Tangermann

Power of ART

An extensive HIV study has yielded a groundbreaking discovery: antiretroviral therapy (ART) completely eliminates gay men’s risk of transmitting HIV through sex.

“Our findings provide conclusive evidence for gay men that the risk of HIV transmission with suppressive ART is zero,” researcher Alison Rodger said in a press release, adding that “this powerful message can help end the HIV pandemic by preventing HIV transmission and tackling the stigma and discrimination that many people with HIV face.”

End of AIDS

For eight years, Rodger and her fellow researchers followed more than 1,000 gay male couples. In each couple, one partner was HIV-positive and taking antiretroviral drugs to suppress the infection, while the other partner was HIV-negative.

On Thursday, the researchers published the results of that study in the journal The Lancet, and what they found was that despite the couples having a total of approximately 77,000 condom-less sexual encounters with one another, not a single one of the HIV-negative men contracted the virus from their partner — as long as the partner was taking ART.

“The results of the…study provide yet one more catalyst for a universal test-and-treat strategy to provide the full benefits of antiretroviral drugs,” Myron S. Cohen, who led an earlier study that followed heterosexual couples, wrote in a commentary piece for The Lancet. “This and other strategies continue to push us toward the end of AIDS.”

READ MORE: End to Aids in sight as huge study finds drugs stop HIV transmission [The Guardian]

More on HIV: A Third Patient Is Now Reportedly Cured of HIV