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The World in Medicine |

HIV Transmission

Joan Stephenson, PhD
JAMA. 2008;300(7):782. doi:10.1001/jama.300.7.782-b.
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HIV incidence could increase substantially if persons with HIV infection who are receiving antiretroviral drugs stopped using condoms in the erroneous belief that effective treatment completely negates the risk of transmission, Australian researchers warned (Wilson DP et al. Lancet. 2008;372 [9635]:314-320).

The researchers' warning was based on findings from a study they undertook in response to a controversial consensus statement released by the Swiss Federal Commission for HIV/AIDS earlier this year. The statement said that persons with HIV infection taking antiretroviral drugs who have undetectable plasma levels of HIV and no other genital infections cannot transmit HIV through sexual contact.

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Researchers warn that although effective treatment substantially lowers the risk of HIV transmission during sex, use of condoms is still advised because some risk remains.

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