Researchers monitored nearly 1,000 gay male couple across Europe over an 8-year period, where one partner was HIV-positive and undergoing ART and the other didn't have the virus.
A groundbreaking study has revealed that the risk of passing on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is completely eliminated when HIV-positive individuals are undergoing antiretroviral therapy (ART) to suppress the virus. However, officials later determined through DNA testing that 15 of the initially HIV-negative participants did test positive for the virus, but that they'd contracted it from a third party who was not on ART.
A European study of almost 1,000 gay male couples who had sex without condoms - where one partner had HIV and was taking antiretroviral drugs to suppress it - has found the treatment can prevent sexual transmission of the virus.
Doctors did not find one single case of in-couple HIV transmission within that time. It also found zero risk.More news: Tom Brady throws football through Matt Damon's window in Jimmy Kimmel skit
"Our findings provide conclusive evidence for gay men that the risk of HIV transmission with suppressive ART is zero", said Alison Rodger, a professor at University College London who co-led the research.
The unidentified man named "the London patient" has been free of the virus for 18 months, and has not had to use treatment to make his HIV undetectable after a stem cell transplant was used to treat his cancer.
Michel Sidibé, executive director of of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), hailed the study's conclusions. In the absence of ART, on the basis of the frequency and type of sex, for receptive condomless anal sex acts alone approximately 472 transmissions (95% CI 83-714) would have been expected. "This is excellent news". 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'.
The number of deaths dropped by 50,000 year-on-year to 940,000, compared to 1.9 million in 2005 when a mere 2.1 million infected people had access to life-lengthening ART.More news: Trump and Putin Discussed Mueller Report During Call, Sarah Sanders Confirms
More than 38,000 Americans were diagnosed with HIV in 2018, and there were 6,160 deaths in the U.S. in 2016 that were directly attributed to HIV. "The vast majority of people living with HIV are in low- and middle-income countries", UNAIDS says.
AIDS has killed 35 million people since it emerged in the 1980s and 78 million people have been infected with HIV. Of those cases, more than 35 million died from AIDS-related illnesses.
The study's results show the drugs have lowered the virus to undetectable levels in the blood, which means HIV can not be passed on via sexual intercourse.More news: Wobbling black hole spewing jets of plasma distorts spacetime