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Certain Vaginal Bacteria May Protect Against HIV Transmission During Sex

Specific types of Lactobacillus bacteria in the vaginal mucus can trap HIV and may help prevent sexual transmission of the virus to women, according to a report in the October 6 edition of the online journal mBio. Conversely, researchers found that another species associated with bacterial vaginosis may increase susceptibility to HIV infection.

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Vaginal Infections May Help Explain Link Between Hormonal Contraception and Increased HIV Risk

Hormones may alter genital tract immunity in a way that makes women more prone to bacterial and viral infections, while disturbances in natural vaginal microbes may also contribute to the association seen in some studies between use of hormonal contraceptives such as Dep-Provera and susceptibility to HIV infection, according to a laboratory study published in the online journal mBio.

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BHIVA 2015: HIV+ Men on Antiretroviral Treatment Have Undetectable Rectal Viral Load

A small study assessing the infectiousness of HIV-positive gay men taking antiretroviral therapy has found that all study participants had an undetectable viral load in the rectum, according to a presentation at the British HIV Association (BHIVA) conference last week in Brighton. Men who had rectal gonhorrea or chlamydia did not have detectable virus either, suggesting that concerns about sexually transmitted infections raising the risk of HIV transmission may be unfounded when people are taking effective HIV treatment.

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IAS 2015: Gay Men Are Using Nuanced Sero-adaptive Behaviors to Prevent HIV Infection

There is evidence that some groups of Australian and American gay men are considering HIV-positive partners’ undetectable viral load and the time elapsed since an HIV-negative partner last tested when making decisions about using condoms, according to studies presented at the recent 8th International AIDS Society Conference in Vancouver.

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CROI 2015: PEPFAR Abstinence and Faithfulness Funding Had No Impact on Sexual Behavior in Africa

Nearly $1.3 billion spent on U.S.-funded programs to promote abstinence and faithfulness had no significant impact on sexual behavior in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, an analysis of sexual behavior data has shown. The preliminary findings were presented by Nathan Lo of Stanford University School of Medicine at the recent 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle.

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