WSJ Article Leaves Out Important Facts on HIV Antiviral Slowing Transmission, also the study they reference was 97% hetero

Perhaps I’m reading this article wrong or being too critical. Bottom line, I’m confused. While it’s exciting to hear antivirals are slowing HIV transmission, something the gay community has talked about for sometime, the WSJ article that ran today leaves out important points of clarification.

My concern with the way this is positioned is it doesn’t specify if the insertive partner or the receptive partner is infected. Perhaps the study digs deeper into this, but I haven’t been able to locate it.

While I understand antivirals reduce the infection, even without antivirals women are less likely to pass HIV to their male partners. So if a woman is infected, even without medication or condoms, it is very unlikely the male will get it (something like 2 – 5 %). Reversed however, if the male partner is infected, the female partner is very likely to get it. (somewhere around 85%)

This is an important point that is missing.  Also interesting, this study was 97% heterosexual. The question remains, in these couples how many are infected men and how many are infected women? If most of these are infected women the transmission is unlikely, regardless of the study findings.

I sent the reporter a note. Will keep you posted on what I hear. Just feels like he needs to expand on the point he made and provide additional context from the study.

This is especially true for folks not as familiar with transmission. Read the full article and let me know what you think.

Excerpt below from the WSJ on HIV Antivirals Slowing Transmission:

Treating AIDS patients with antiretroviral drugs makes them strikingly less infectious, researchers said Thursday, in a landmark finding that is likely to reinvigorate efforts to slow the pandemic.

The results were so overwhelming that an independent panel monitoring the research recommended the results be released four years before the large, multi-country study had been scheduled to end.

“This new finding convincingly demonstrates that treating the infected individual—and doing so sooner rather than later—can have a major impact on reducing HIV transmission,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the U.S.’s National Institutes of Health, which funded the study.

The randomized trial of 1,763 couples—in which one partner had HIV and the other didn’t—confirms a growing body of less rigorous research and is likely to inject new urgency into treatment campaigns, which could have the added benefit of slowing the spread of HIV. AIDS workers have dubbed this “treatment as prevention.”

Categories: health

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