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UNAIDS & WHO 'Correct' Swiss on Unrotected Sex
 
 
  HIV therapy does not eliminate transmission risk-WHO
 
Fri 1 Feb 2008, 17:27 GMT
 
GENEVA, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Anti-retroviral drug treatments can dramatically reduce the level of HIV virus in the blood but transmission risks remain, United Nations health agencies said on Friday.
 
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNAIDS, responding to a study published by Switzerland's Federal AIDS Commission, said "correct and consistent use of condoms" was the best way to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus between sexual partners.
 
People taking anti-retrovirals can have undetectable amounts of HIV virus in their blood "at certain stages of their treatment", the Geneva-based agencies said in a statement.
 
"However, it has not been proven to completely eliminate the risk of transmitting the virus," UNAIDS and WHO said.
 
"More research is needed to determine the degree to which the viral load in blood predicts the risk of HIV transmission and to determine the association between the viral load in blood and viral load in semen and vaginal secretions."
 
They also stressed that other sexually transmitted diseases may contribute to transmission rates, further underscoring the need for "a comprehensive HIV prevention package" that includes mutual fidelity and a reduced number of sexual partners. (Reporting by Laura MacInnis; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
 

Health agencies stick to condom advice after Swiss AIDS study
 
2 days ago
 
GENEVA (AFP) - Using a condom is still the safest protection against AIDS, United Nations health agencies said Friday after Swiss researchers claimed patients on retroviral drugs do not transmit the virus.
 
UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation said in a joint statement that they "strongly recommend a comprehensive package of HIV prevention approaches, including correct and consistent use of condoms."
 
Switzerland's Federal AIDS Commission published a report on Wednesday claiming that couples where one partner is HIV positive do not need to use a condom to prevent transmitting the disease, as long as retroviral therapy is followed regularly and has suppressed the virus in the blood for at least six months.
 
The claim sparked concern by AIDS charities who noted that the scientific research is focused on heterosexual couples and vaginal rather than anal sex.
 
"The real thing missing (from the Swiss advice) is about anal sex and getting a new sexually transmitted infection," said Roger Peabody of the London-based Terrence Higgins Trust AIDS charity.
 
"We don't feel the scientific evidence is conclusive and there are some key issues that are not covered in this advice," he added.
 
UNAIDS and the WHO said condoms were vital for a comprehensive HIV prevention package, along with fewer sexual partners, non-penetrative sex, and early and effective treatment for other sexually transmitted infections.
 
 
 
 
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