Study shows no risk of HIV seropositive people in treatment passing on virus
Barcelona center promotes project tracking 1,000 serodifferent gay couples for eight years in 14 countries
The BCN Checkpoint center in Barcelona, which monitors HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, has publicised the results of a European study confirming that there is no risk of transmitting HIV by people who are seropositive and in treatment.
PARTNER-2, an observational macro-study carried out in 14 countries, tracked almost 1,000 serodifferent gay couples for eight years. In a serodifferent couple, one person is living with HIV while the other person is HIV-negative.
The head of BCN Checkpoint, Ferran Pujol, said in a press conference on Wednesday in Barcelona that the study confirms that what was already known to apply to straight couples also goes for gay couples.
According to Michael Meulbroek, the president of the NGO Projecte dels NOMS-Hispanosida, "treatment not only avoids the virus being passed on to other people but also helps prevent the same patient contracting a superinfection."
Meulbroek said that the study's conclusions show "the importance of early diagnosis in preventing new infections," and he added: "These results will help to reduce the stigma associated with HIV infection and put an end to discrimination towards people with HIV."
Pujol, meanwhile, pointed that the evidence in the study "confirms the great preventive potential of antiretrovirals, while knowing that the risk of transmission is zero is sure to have a positive impact on the quality of life of seropositive people and their partners.”
The BCN Checkpoint center, which is run by Projecte dels NOMS-Hispanosida, played a key role in the study in that it was the third place in Europe in terms of recruiting couples to take part in the study.
Dr. Pep Coll, BCN Checkpoint's head doctor and researcher at the Sida IrsiCaixa Research Institute and the Fight Aids Foundation, explained that “the results of the study are a very solid argument, as they show that while the participating couples had sex without a condom almost 77,000 times, there was no sign of infection."