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Undetectable From Treatment = Zero Transmissions

Undetectable From Treatment = Zero Transmissions


Research shows probability of HIV transmission is zero if you’re suppressed on antiretroviral treatment.

A groundbreaking study on antiretroviral treatment has shown that the drugs can disable HIV and stop sexual transmission. The randomized study of 1,700 couples, conducted by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, confirmed findings released in 2011 that indicated treatment could prevent transmission of HIV if it is taken reliably. When medications can suppress HIV to the point that it is undetectable, it can prevent transmission to a sexual partner. The catch, though, is patients must adhere to treatment, as going off antiretrovirals will cause the virus to reemerge. In the U.S., there are 1.2 million people living with HIV, but only 37 percent of them are on antiretroviral therapy, a.k.a. ART.

“If people are taking their pills reliably and they’re taking them for some period of time, the probability of transmission in this study is actually zero,” Myron Cohen, chief of the Institute of Global Health and Infectious Diseases at UNC, told Raleigh’s News & Observer. “Let me say it another way: We never saw a case of HIV transmission in a person who is stably suppressed on ART.”

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