LONDON — A new study published in British medical journal The Lancet has found that HIV treatment that suppresses the virus has effectively zero risk of transmission to a partner.
The study was released on Thursday and is the latest to show that undetectable levels of HIV means untransmissible. The National Institutes of Health said in a report in January that overwhelming evidence has established that undetectable equals untransmittable. Researchers at the 22nd International AIDS Conference confirmed last year that the chance of any HIV-positive person with an undetectable viral load transmitting the virus to a sexual partner is scientifically equivalent to zero.
Between Sept 15, 2010, and July 31, 2017, researchers followed almost 1,000 sero-discordant gay couples. In the entire period, including a two year follow up period, there were only 15 new infections and those were not linked to the virus strain their partners had. Which mean that there were no transmissions from the HIV-positive and viral suppressed partners.
“Our results provide a similar level of evidence on viral suppression and HIV transmission risk for gay men to that previously generated for heterosexual couples and suggest that the risk of HIV transmission in gay couples through condomless sex when HIV viral load is suppressed is effectively zero,” the researchers stated in the report. “Our findings support the message of the U=U (undetectable equals untransmittable) campaign, and the benefits of early testing and treatment for HIV.”