You are here

Zero transmisson

Results from a ground-breaking Australian study to analyse HIV transmission risk among gay couples with differing HIV status have shown, unequivocally, that HIV-positive men on treatment cannot transmit the virus to their sexual partners. The findings from Sydney’s Kirby Institute were presented at the IAS Conference in HIV science in Paris.

In the Opposites Attract study, 358 couples reported almost 17,000 acts of condomless anal sex with zero HIV transmission. “Undetectable virus level prevents HIV transmission among gay couples,” said chief investigator Professor Andrew Grulich. “Our research means that we can say, with confidence, that effectively treated HIV blocks transmission in couples of differing status.”

Describing the news as “life-changing”, Grulich said: “Our data add to previous studies which show that there has never been a recorded case of HIV transmission from an HIV-positive person to their HIV-negative sexual partner when the HIV-positive partner had undetectable viral load.”

The release of the findings comes after UNAIDS endorsed the ‘undetectable = untransmittable’ message. A UNAIDS document states: “There is increasing consensus among scientists that people with undetectable HIV in their blood do not transmit HIV sexually. This knowledge can be empowering for people with HIV. The awareness that they are no longer transmitting HIV sexually can provide people living with HIV with a stronger sense of being agents of prevention in their approach to new or existing relationships.”

Related content

latest news

July 26, 2017
Results from an Australian study show that HIV-positive men on treatment cannot transmit the virus.
June 22, 2017
Why is an easily curable disease once believed to be on the wane in Australia out of control?
June 6, 2017
Real-life exchanges between people on Grindr are at the centre of a new campaign spotlighting HIV stigma.
May 1, 2017
Flu season is here, and people — especially those with impaired immunity — are advised to get vaccinated.
April 19, 2017
Researchers are collating stories of family life in the context of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
March 7, 2017
“For me, being told that I couldn’t have children was harder than the diagnosis itself."
March 7, 2017
"People in heterosexual relationships seem to think that HIV could never affect them — but it does.”
March 3, 2017
The gut is referred to as the 'second brain' and plays a vital role in the body’s wellbeing.
March 3, 2017
Three decades ago, a journalist wrote a best-selling book forced America to take action against AIDS. 
March 3, 2017
Over the summer break we ran an online survey to find out what you think of Positive Living. 
March 3, 2017
A decade on, Timothy Ray Brown (aka the Berlin Patient) remains the only person cured of HIV.
March 3, 2017
Every person with HIV has to face the challenge of disclosure. So what do you do: tell all or keep shtum?
March 3, 2017
People with HIV living in remote areas of Australia face unique challenges. Four people share their stories.
March 1, 2017
In a major breakthrough, scientists in Geelong have discovered a protein that could prevent HIV. 
February 9, 2017
A National Day of Women Living with HIV Australia will once again be celebrated on 9 March.