Nav: Home

Knowing HIV levels are 'undetectable' may affect sexual behavior

June 15, 2017

June 15, 2017 - Understanding and responding to behavioral trends in groups that are at high risk for HIV infection is critical to the development of effective strategies that decrease HIV incidence and improve access to care. New research based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) system are presented in a special supplement to JAIDS: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

"NHBS is able to guide local and national high-impact prevention strategies by identifying who is highest risk, what they are doing, and what services they need most," according to an introduction by Cyprian Wejnert, PhD, and colleagues of the NHBS Study Group.

NHBS Data Helps to Guide HIV Prevention in High-Risk Groups

The NHBS is an ongoing surveillance project that monitors behavioral risk factors, HIV testing behaviors, and use of prevention services and strategies in three high-risk groups: men who have sex with men (MSM), persons who inject drugs (PWID), and heterosexuals of low socioeconomic status in urban areas. "Accurate data on the behaviors in these populations are critical for understanding trends in HIV infection and planning and evaluating effective HIV prevention activities," Dr. Wejnert and coauthors write.

The special issue presents 21 new research papers using NHBS data to evaluate and inform HIV prevention efforts. Among the findings are insights into HIV testing trends; recent declines in HIV diagnoses among African-American women; new evidence on the effectiveness of syringe services programs to reduce high-risk behavior among PWID; and examples of innovative programs developed to reach high-risk groups in communities across the United States.

A study by H. Fisher Raymond, DrPH, of the San Francisco Department of Public Health looks at interactions between HIV prevention efforts and sexual risk behaviors among MSM with known HIV infection. In the past decade, San Francisco has introduced a "Treatment as Prevention" (TasP) approach, in which people are started on antiviral drugs as soon as their HIV infection is diagnosed.

When taken the right way, every day, antiviral drugs reduce the amount of HIV in the blood and elsewhere in the body to such low levels that viral activity, measured as viral load, can no longer be detected. This is called undetectable viral load, or viral suppression. Suppressing HIV in the blood to "undetectable" levels has many health benefits. It helps people living with HIV live longer, healthier lives and dramatically reduces the risk of transmitting HIV.

Of 68 men included in the study, 58 believed they had undetectable HIV levels while nine believed they had detectable levels. In both groups, blood tests showed that 97 percent of men accurately knew their viral status.

Knowing one's viral suppression status appeared to be associated with differences in sexual risk reduction strategies.

The results suggest that MSM who have achieved viral suppression on treatment--knowing that they have a low risk of transmitting HIV--may adapt their sexual practices accordingly. The authors point out that the observed difference was not statistically significant, likely due to the small size of the study.

"More research is necessary to assess how HIV-positive men account for viral load in sexual decision-making practices, and this research many inform resource allocation and clinical recommendations to maintain the health of MSM populations," Dr. Raymond and coauthors write. They note their study doesn't reflect newer risk-reduction strategies--especially pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), in which uninfected people who are at risk of HIV take medications to reduce their risk of becoming infected.

"The papers in our NHBS supplement point out that we are in a new era of HIV treatment and prevention, given the clear effects of treatment on transmission and the clear benefits of PrEP," comments Paul A. Volberding, MD, of University of California San Francisco, Editor-in-Chief of JAIDS. "This is an excellent time to record where we stand and to develop plans for continued surveillance."
-end-
Click here to read "Self-Perceived Viral Load and Sexual Risk Behavior Among Known HIV-Positive MSM in San Francisco, 2014."

Article: "Self-Perceived Viral Load and Sexual Risk Behavior Among Known HIV-Positive MSM in San Francisco, 2014" (doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001405)

About JAIDS

JAIDS: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (http://www.JAIDS.com) is the trusted, interdisciplinary resource for HIV- and AIDS-related information with a strong focus on basic science, clinical science, and epidemiology. Co-edited by the foremost leaders in clinical virology, molecular biology, and epidemiology, JAIDS publishes vital information on the advances in diagnosis and treatment of HIV infections, as well as the latest research in the development of therapeutics and vaccine approaches. This ground-breaking journal brings together rigorously peer-reviewed articles, reviews of current research, results of clinical trials, and epidemiologic reports from around the world.

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer N.V. (AEX: WKL) is a global leader in information services and solutions for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, finance and legal sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services.

Wolters Kluwer reported 2016 annual revenues of €4.3 billion. The company, headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries and employs 19,000 people worldwide.

Wolters Kluwer shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY).

For more information about our solutions and organization, visit http://www.wolterskluwer.com, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Wolters Kluwer Health

Related Hiv Articles:

Defective HIV proviruses reduce effective immune system response, interfere with HIV cure
A new study finds defective HIV proviruses, long thought to be harmless, produce viral proteins and distract the immune system from killing intact proviruses needed to reduce the HIV reservoir and cure HIV.
1 in 7 people living with HIV in the EU/EEA are not aware of their HIV status
Almost 30,000 newly diagnosed HIV infections were reported by the 31 European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries in 2015, according to data published today by ECDC and the WHO Regional Office for Europe.
Smoking may shorten the lifespan of people living with HIV more than HIV itself
A new study led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital finds that cigarette smoking substantially reduces the lifespan of people living with HIV in the US, potentially even more than HIV itself.
For smokers with HIV, smoking may now be more harmful than HIV itself
HIV-positive individuals who smoke cigarettes may be more likely to die from smoking-related disease than the infection itself, according to a new study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Patients diagnosed late with HIV infection are more likely to transmit HIV to others
An estimated 1.2 million people live with HIV in the United States, with nearly 13 percent being unaware of their infection.
The Lancet HIV: New HIV infections stagnating at 2.5 million a year worldwide
A major new analysis from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 study, published today in The Lancet HIV journal, reveals that although deaths from HIV/AIDS have been steadily declining from a peak in 2005, 2.5 million people worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2015, a number that hasn't changed substantially in the past 10 years.
NIH scientists discover that defective HIV DNA can encode HIV-related proteins
Investigators from the National Institutes of Health have discovered that cells from HIV-infected people whose virus is suppressed with treatment harbor defective HIV DNA that can nevertheless be transcribed into a template for producing HIV-related proteins.
Study examines risk of HIV transmission from condomless sex with virologically suppressed HIV infection
Among nearly 900 serodifferent (one partner is HIV-positive, one is HIV-negative) heterosexual and men who have sex with men couples in which the HIV-positive partner was using suppressive antiretroviral therapy and who reported condomless sex, during a median follow-up of 1.3 years per couple, there were no documented cases of within-couple HIV transmission, according to a study appearing in the July 12 issue of JAMA, an HIV/AIDS theme issue.
HIV vaccine design should adapt as HIV virus mutates
Researchers from UAB, Emory and Microsoft demonstrate that HIV has evolved to be pre-adapted to the immune response, worsening clinical outcomes in newly infected patients.
Charlie Sheen's HIV disclosure may reinvigorate awareness, prevention of HIV
Actor Charlie Sheen's public disclosure in November 2015 that he has the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) corresponded with the greatest number of HIV-related Google searches ever recorded in the United States, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Related Hiv Reading:

HIV Essentials 2017
by Paul E. Sax (Author), Calvin J. Cohen (Author), Daniel R. Kuritzkes (Author)

100 Questions & Answers About HIV and AIDS
by Joel E. Gallant (Author)

2018 Adult Hiv/AIDS Treatment Pocket Guide (with Bictegravir Updates) (2018 Edition with Bictegravir Updates)
by John G Bartlett (Author), Paul a Pham (Author)

Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371 (Graphic Medicine)
by MK Czerwiec (Author)

Love, Money, and HIV: Becoming a Modern African Woman in the Age of AIDS
by Sanyu A. Mojola (Author)

HIV & AIDS: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Alan Whiteside (Author)

HIV Pharmacotherapy: The Pharmacist's Role in Care & Treatment
by Jason J. Schafer (Author), Jennifer Cocohoba (Author), Elizabeth Sherman (Author), Alice Tseng (Author)

Punishing Disease: HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness
by Trevor Hoppe (Author)

Living with HIV: A Patient’s Guide, 2d ed. (McFarland Health Topics)
by McFarland

ANAC's Core Curriculum for HIV / AIDS Nursing
by Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) (Author)

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Bias And Perception
How does bias distort our thinking, our listening, our beliefs... and even our search results? How can we fight it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the unconscious biases that shape us. Guests include writer and broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied, climatologist J. Marshall Shepherd, journalist Andreas Ekström, and experimental psychologist Tony Salvador.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#513 Dinosaur Tails
This week: dinosaurs! We're discussing dinosaur tails, bipedalism, paleontology public outreach, dinosaur MOOCs, and other neat dinosaur related things with Dr. Scott Persons from the University of Alberta, who is also the author of the book "Dinosaurs of the Alberta Badlands".