Not Your Problem? Think Again
BY Benjamin Ryan
March 31 2004 1:00 AM ET
More than 40% of HIV-positive people reported having unprotected sex after being diagnosed, many due to the mistaken belief that highly active antiretroviral therapy reduces or eliminates their risk of infecting others, according to a study conducted in New York.
Trading sex for money and use of anti-HIV medications were the two top reasons reported by more than 246 surveyed HIV-positive adults for engaging in unsafe sex. Half of the women surveyed, 42% of gay and bisexual men, and 29% of heterosexual men reported unprotected sex after their diagnosis.
The researchers, writing in the January 1 edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases, recommend that 'patients be cautioned that the use of antiretroviral therapy does not guarantee against HIV transmission' and that 'periodic risk assessment and screening for sexually transmitted diseases should be a routine part of primary care' for HIV-positive adults.