The full text of this article previously appeared on DallasVoice.com here.
For years, the legitimacy of being undetectable and what that means in the fight against HIV transmission has been questioned, criticized and rebuked. Although many doctors and HIV activists have said for years that having an undetectable viral load makes HIV transmission virtually impossible, this message was met with skepticism and even contempt from the outside community.
But now, according to a study titled “HIV Transmission Risk Through Condomless sex if HIV+ Partner on Suppressive ART: PARTNER Study” presented this week at the Conference of Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), gay men who are on treatment and undetectable do not transmit the HIV virus … at all.
The two-year scientific study finally tested the efficacy of an undetectable viral load where it counted the most — in men who have sex with men. Previous studies had already purported a 96 percent reduction in transmission for those who were undetectable, but these results were primarily found in heterosexual couples and, therefore, were inconclusive in regards to gay men. Now, there is proof that treatment as prevention is incredibly effective when it comes to HIV transmission through anal sex.
In fact, Alison Rodger, one of the presenters at CROI, said “their best estimate is zero” when asked about the chance of a homosexual male with an undetectable viral load transmitting the virus.
That means you, homo.
You would think that with this new information, HIV and LGBT organizations around the country would rush to the presses to inform the masses that treatment is one of the best, if not the best, form of HIV prevention. But with just one look at the comments and criticisms already swirling around the release of this study, it’s unlikely that will happen anytime soon.
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