A two-year study gives scientific credence to what many have long suspected: HIV positive guys who are on treatment and have an undetectable viral load are not giving HIV to their partners, not matter how hard they try. The study strengthens the belief that “treatment as prevention” is one of the most effective ways to stop new infections.
The two-year study, presented at the Conferences on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections this week, showed as low a risk of infection as you can find in research. As reported by AIDSMap:
When asked what the study tells us about the chance of someone with an undetectable viral load transmitting HIV, presenter Alison Rodger said: “Our best estimate is it’s zero.”
Participants in the study were couples, gay and straight, in which one partner had HIV and the other did not. They were selected because they had sex without condoms at least some of the time, and the negative partner was not on PrEP (taking the drug Truvada to prevent infection).
The couples kept themselves very busy sexing it up in the name of science: the study reported 16,400 sexual acts among the gay couples, including being on top, being on bottom, oral sex, and plenty of “ejaculate” on and in the bodies of participants (imagine conducting those interviews with the couples).
None of the negative subjects were infected by their positive partners, although a few negative partners got infected by someone outside the relationship, which was determined by genetic testing of the HIV strain. Those guys then had some explaining to do, don’t you think? Or, perhaps, not.
Of course, you have to know if you’re positive in the first place for treatment to make a difference. At least 20% of those with HIV in the U.S. don’t know they have it. “The keys to keeping everyone healthy is for you to be regularly tested for HIV, and if you are positive, to take advantage of effective treatments,” said Raymond C. Martins, M.D., of Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, DC. “For gay men who are negative, please remember that the higher risk comes from those men who do not know their HIV status and might in fact have high levels of infectious virus.”
Many questions. Just the Vampires or the Mayfair Witches as well? Very good news.
Last night, on “The Dinner Party Show”, a weekly internet radio program, hosted by Christopher Rice and Eric Shaw Quinn, best-selling author Anne Rice announced the name, subject and publication date for her next novel. Drumroll, please ….
“Prince Lestat” will be published October 28, 2014 with advance pre-sales offered at all major online retailers by March 16th.
It was the news life-long Anne Rice fans have long been waiting for; a return to the beloved characters and mythology she first created in her ground-breaking best-seller, “Interview with the Vampire”.
According to Mrs. Rice, “Almost all the characters will be back with the exception of those from her hybrid novels (those mixing the Mayfair witches and vampire mythology) such as “Merrick”, “Blackwood Farm” and “The Blood Canticle”.
Asked “why now” and “how was she able to find those voices again?” she said, “No one is as real a character for me as Lestat. This book will catch everyone up on what they’ve been doing and why they come together again at this point in time”.
However, just last year on Mrs. Rice’s widely popular Facebook page, there seemed to be more mentions of Lestat; what he was doing and how he felt.
If her posts offered any clues to the new novel, her fans and this writer had no idea.
“I can’t tell you how hard it has been to keep this novel secret. I finished the penultimate draft in August. The publisher insisted on secrecy for all the predictable (and good) reasons. But what an agony. I can tell you one thing that was great fun; it was going to France right after I finished, and traveling to the Auvergne where Lestat was born and visiting old castles and chateaux like his, knowing he was back with me. We settled in one very beautiful chateau for two nights before our final return to Paris. And it was a dream to me to be in those palatial rooms, knowing the novel was done, and being with my hero. I remember opening the windows at night on perfect rural stillness, with the rain falling….and being so happy.
When I came back, I made only a few crucial changes, adding details here and there from my French odyssey. The book was finished by Thanksgiving. But again, we had to keep it secret. And we did. Until tonight. What a hell of a party.”