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Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Jul 1;59(1):115-22. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu223. Epub 2014 Apr 9.

Heterosexual risk of HIV transmission per sexual act under combined antiretroviral therapy: systematic review and bayesian modeling.

Author information

  • 1Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR_S 1136 Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health INSERM, UMR_S 1136 Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health.
  • 2Sorbonne Paris Cité, Faculté de Médecine, Université Paris Descartes, EA7327 APHP, Centre de Diagnostic et de Thérapeutique, Hôpital de l'Hôtel-Dieu.
  • 3Unité d'Epidémiologie des Maladies Emergentes, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although essential for patient counseling and quality of life of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals, the risk of HIV transmission during 1 unprotected sex act with an HIV-infected person under combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) remains unknown.

METHODS:

We reviewed systematically the literature for studies on HIV transmission among heterosexual HIV-serodiscordant couples, where the infected partner was on cART, with regular virological monitoring, reporting on condom use and sexual activity. We used Bayesian statistics to combine data from selected studies, to investigate the per-act risk of HIV transmission through unprotected sex with an HIV-infected person on cART for >6 months.

RESULTS:

At most, 1 HIV transmission, over an estimated 113 480 sex acts, of which 17% were not condom protected, was reported within 1672 HIV-serodiscordant couples where the index partner had been treated for >6 months. Data were insufficient to determine whether the reported transmission occurred before or after 6 months of cART. We estimated the upper-bound per-act risk of HIV transmission at either 8.7 or 13:100 000, depending on whether the transmission occurred before or after 6 months of cART. These estimates applied whether or not index partners were virally suppressed. Estimating an upper-bound risk <1:100 000 would require observing no HIV transmission while collecting >12 times the available amount of data.

CONCLUSIONS:

Available data do not support zero risk of HIV transmission under cART. The per-act risk of HIV transmission through unprotected sex with HIV-infected individuals on cART in comprehensive care for >6 months (whether or not virally suppressed) is <13:100 000. Estimating a 10-fold lower upper-bound risk may be unfeasible due to high condom use among HIV-serodiscordant couples in most research studies.

© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

KEYWORDS:

HIV prevention; combined antiretroviral treatment; condom use; per-act risk of HIV transmission; viral load

PMID:
24723286
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4305135
Free PMC Article
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