POZLife: Life from the Infected and Effected point of veiw.

GayHealth.com docs disagree with Swiss HIV study

Posted by pozlife on February 29, 2008

Swiss AIDS experts stunned researchers in Europe and North America recently by publishing a shocking study concluding that some people with HIV who are on stable treatment can safely have unprotected sex with non-infected partners.

The Swiss National AIDS Commission said patients who meet strict conditions, including successful antiretroviral treatment to suppress the virus and who do not have any other sexually transmitted diseases, do not pose a danger to others.

“I think this is an extremely dangerous path to go down … without a large trial to prove that this is safe.”

However, Dr Stephen Goldstone and Dr. Susan Ball, Medical Directors of GayHealth.com, both strongly disagree with the Swiss proposal, published recently in the Bulletin of Swiss Medicine:

Said Dr. Goldstone: “I think this is an extremely dangerous path to go down especially without a large trial to prove that this is safe. I would hate for knowingly positive men to abandon condoms and not disclose their status to a partner thinking that they can’t infect him or her anyway. We must advocate safe sex until we know much more.”

Said Dr. Ball: “We definitely do not agree with the Swiss version and Dr. Roy Gulick, head of the AIDS Clinical Trial Unit at Cornell, is aware of written reports indicating confirmed HIV transmission from partners who had low viral loads. All would agree that low or undetectable viral loads pose less risk but no one here would support infected patients having unprotected sex.”

The Swiss reported that other studies had also found that patients on regular anti-AIDS treatment did not pass on the virus, and that HIV could not be detected in their genital fluids.

The Swiss scientists took as their starting point a 1999 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which showed that transmission depends strongly on the viral load in the blood.


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