AIDS Transmitted Even
When Virus No Longer In Blood
DENVER -- Men who are HIV-positive and undergoing aggressive therapy can still transmit the AIDS-causing virus and need to practice safe sex, according to research released Friday. Transmission can occur even if no HIV can be detected in the bloodstream, the research, presented at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, showed. The study conducted by the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia reinforces recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the importance of safe sex. The research suggests that semen may be a site of dormant HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV provirus, which is a precursor of HIV, was detected in the seminal cells of four of seven patients treated with highly active antiretroviral chemotherapy (HAART) who had no detectable free HIV in their blood stream or seminal fluid. In a separate study, also presented at the conference, researchers found that the new highly active antiretroviral therapies are effective in reducing the level of HIV in the genital tracts of infected women. The results suggest the therapy may have an impact on heterosexual transmission of HIV as well as on babies during childbirth. ^REUTERS@