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AIDS. 2012 May 15;26(8):971-5. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e328352ae09.

Detection of HIV-1 RNA in seminal plasma samples from treated patients with undetectable HIV-1 RNA in blood plasma on a 2002-2011 survey.

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Laboratoire de Virologie, APHP, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.



To estimate the frequency of detectable seminal HIV-1 viral load in men with repeatedly undetectable blood viral load, in the recent past years and over a 10-year period (2002-2011) in a large cohort of HIV-1-infected men from couples requesting assisted reproduction technologies. We also searched for an association between HIV-1 RNA seminal viral load, HIV-1 RNA plasma viral load measured by ultrasensitive assay, and blood HIV-1 DNA in a subgroup of 98 patients.


Three hundred and four HIV-1 infected men have provided 628 paired blood and semen samples. In a subset of 98 patients for which a blood sample was available, residual viremia, HIV-1 RNA in semen and HIV-1 DNA were studied.


Twenty of 304 patients (6.6%) had detectable HIV-1 RNA in semen, ranging from 135 to 2365 copies/ml, corresponding to 23 samples, although they had concomitantly undetectable HIV-1 RNA in blood while they were under antiretroviral therapy. This prevalence was stable over time even in recent years. There was an association between HIV-1 RNA plasma viral load measured by ultrasensitive assay and HIV-1 DNA in blood, but both were not associated with seminal HIV-1 RNA viral load.


It seems cautious individually to maintain the recommendations of safe sex and the recourse to ART, or at least to inform the couple of the residual potential risk, in serodiscordant couples desiring a child.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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