What is Risk of Sexual Transmission of HIV With Treatment-Suppressed Low Viral Load?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

"HIV infecting a human cell" by NIH Image Gallery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

HIV Infecting T Cell

Rachel Rodin
Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control
Public Health Agency of Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: On December 1, 2016 (World AIDS Day), the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, federal Minister of Justice, committed to working with provinces and territories, affected communities, and medical professionals to examine the criminal justice system’s response to non-disclosure of HIV status in the context of sexual relations.

To this end, Justice Canada worked with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), provincial and territorial public health and justice counterparts, and a variety of other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive report on the issue of HIV non-disclosure. As part of this work, Justice Canada asked PHAC to provide an assessment of the most recent medical science on sexual HIV transmission risk.

In collaboration with external peer reviewers, PHAC undertook a systematic review of the full body of scientific evidence on sexual HIV transmission risk. The review found that the risk of sexual transmission of HIV is negligible when an individual is taking antiretroviral therapy as prescribed and maintains a suppressed viral load. The review also concluded that the risk remains low when the individual is on antiretroviral therapy with varying viral load, or is not on antiretroviral therapy but uses condoms.    Continue reading