According to the results of an eight year study by British and Danish researchers, HIV positive men can have unprotected sex without fear of giving someone else HIV–if they take the daily pill Truvada. An amazing finding.
Almost 1,000 gay men took part in the the study, which was unveiled at the 2108 AIDS conference in Amsterdam. It found that the transmission of HIV cannot happen when “viral loads are found to be undetectable.”
The 1,000 couples were from 14 countries in Europe and the research was conducted between 2000 and 2018. Of the couples given ART or “anti-retroviral therapy”, none of them were found to be “infectious.” The study found that none of the participants tested positive for transmission during the trial.
What does this mean? Although the drug itself, also called “Truvada”, does not cure people who are already infected with HIV, taking daily pills of the anti-viral “cocktail” stops the virus from replicating, and reduces the risk of infection to their uninfected partner.
The study took place at the University College, London, and the University of Copenhagen. Previous research on the anti-viral drug found a low risk of transmission–as long as people took the drug on a daily basis. But the new study confirmed the research from previous studies. The idea here is that “undetectable” (viral loads of the infected person) equals “untransmittable” to the uninfected person.
Couples clocked in “75,000- 77,000” episodes of condomless sex (but whose counting?) during the eight year study, with no HIV transmissions occurring. Dang, that’s a lot of condomless sex.
The study’s result is good news. But even better news for us would be if couples started using condoms to avoid other STD’s, such as syphilis, which are on the rise in the gay male population.
The study should provide some relief to committed couples where one partner is HIV positive and the other is negative. In these cases, both the HIV positive and HIV negative partner takes the daily pills.
But to all the single hooker uppers out there who hooked up with people they just met — and didn’t use a condom, here’s a news flash. According to the latest statistics released recently from the CDC, STD levels are at an all-time high.
In 2016, New York City rolled out HIV prevention subway ads promoting the use of Truvada with condoms, the safest of all cocktails. So next time you’re hooking up, don’t be silly and use a condom on that willy.