GAY NEWS NETWORK
Original Article: bit.ly/1FZK4nT
Interim results for the Kirby Institute’s Opposites Attract study has reported zero HIV transmissions between men in sero-discordant couples — where one is HIV-positive and one is HIV-negative — where the positive partner has undertaken treatment and has an undetectable viral load.
The results reflect similar outcomes to that seen in overseas research such as the ‘Partner study’ which also reported zero transmissions between sero-discordant heterosexual couples where the positive partner was on treatment.
The Opposites Attract results come at a halfway point in the study, but the chief investigator Professor Andrew Grulich is hopeful of what the results mean for men who have sex with men (MSM) who are living with HIV.
"These are very exciting results that seem to mirror findings from other important international studies of heterosexual couples, which have provided strong evidence that treatment as prevention works," said Grulich.
"Essentially, what we are seeing among the gay couples enrolled in Opposites Attract is that HIV transmission is quite unlikely when someone’s viral load is undetectable. In fact, no HIV-negative man in the study has contracted HIV from his positive partner."
The study also looked at the role different sexual behaviour and positioning plays in transmission of the virus.
Despite the positive outcome, Grulich confirmed the need for a larger sample size and urged gay men to enrol in the study.
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