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New Studies Offer More Insight on HIV Sexual Transmission and Prevention

A new estimate puts the likelihood of HIV transmission via receptive anal sex at 138 per 10,000 acts, but looking at probabilities over a longer period provides a better understanding of risk than per-act probabilities, according to a pair of studies in the May 6 advance online edition of AIDS. Mathematical models showed that combining prevention methods -- especially those that include antiretroviral treatment-as-prevention or PrEP -- can greatly reduce the risk of transmission.

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Is HIV Transmission Risk Really Near Zero If HIV+ Heterosexual Partners Are on ART?

Serodiscordant heterosexual couples in which the positive partner has been on combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) for more than 6 months may have an HIV transmission risk as high as 13 per 100,000 sex acts -- but the risk could also be zero -- according to an estimate based on a systematic review described in the April 9 online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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CROI 2014: Very Different Levels of PrEP Uptake and Adherence in 3 U.S. Cities

One of the first studies of open-label pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for at-risk gay men in 3 U.S. cities shows that although the proportion of those initially offered or seeking PrEP who ended up taking it was similar in all cities, the amount of interest differed substantially. The demonstration project also found substantial differences in adherence between the cities, possibly due to a younger population in one, but lower adherence was not associated with lower motivation to take PrEP.

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HIV Viral Load in Semen Can Vary Over a Short Time in Men on Antiretroviral Therapy

Some men on antiretroviral therapy (ART) who have undetectable blood viral load can still sometimes have detectable HIV in their semen, and levels can fluctuate even within a very short time period, according to a study published in the March 3 edition of PLoS ONE. The study also showed that detectable HIV in semen appears more likely among men taking protease inhibitors.

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CROI 2014: Nipping HIV in the Bud -- Could We Use Genotyping to Interrupt Transmission?

The 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014) this month in Boston heard a number of presentations on phylogenetic analysis -- the use of genetic fingerprinting of HIV to trace patterns of transmission and prioritize groups for targeting prevention.

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