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ASHM Report Back
Clinical posts from members and guests of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) from various international medical and scientific conferences on HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, and sexual health.
Like the Partners study, Opposites Attract has demonstrated that undetectable equals untransmittable. There were no linked HIV transmissions after 591.2 couple years and 12000 acts of condomless sex protected only by viral suppression. Three incident HIV infections during the study were not linked to the positive partner on phylogenetic analysis highlighting the importance of PrEP for those having sex with other partners.
The true role of STI’s in HIV transmission requires further investigation says Dr Ben Bavinton of the Kirby Institute, noting that there were very high rates of STIs detected during the study despite no linked HIV incident infections.
The question of how soon is ‘safe’ to have condomless sex after ART initiation also requires further study.
The take away messages from Ben’s talk are the importance of regular STI screening in this group, PrEP for those having sex with other partners, and condoms or PrEP after starting ART.
Opposites Attract was a prospective longitudinal study of serodiscordant homosexual couples in Australia, Brazil and Thailand. Couples had testing and completed behavioural surveys at least twice per year during the study.