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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2007 Nov;59(11):1451-62.

Quantification of antiretroviral drugs for HIV-1 in the male genital tract: current data, limitations and implications for laboratory analysis.

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Division of Sexual Health, Albion Street Centre, Sydney, Australia.


Antiretroviral therapy has reduced the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV-1/AIDS in developed countries. Viral replication in blood plasma is suppressed by antiretroviral drugs, whereas virus in the male genital tract is genetically and phenotypically unique and may not be suppressed. This viral compartmentalization affects antiretroviral drug penetration of the male genital tract and capacity for antiretroviral therapy to reduce sexual transmission. The problem of having two distinct viral populations within any given individual is compounded by the fact that antiretroviral drugs penetrate semen to varying degrees. Incomplete suppression of genital tract virus may yield drug-resistant virus and increase the risk of sexual transmission. This review critically appraises current studies of antiretroviral drug quantification in semen and suggests recommendations to address observed limitations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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