HIV latest news
Latest News in HIV
Here’s a summary of what’s new about HIV.
PEP effectiveness / PEP Efficacy
‘Not 100% effective; seroconversion still detected in 1% of 702 exposed individuals.’
Wow. 99% is a whole lot better than the 80% to 90% we used to quote. This figure was quoted from a study done in 2005 published in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases. My personal experience with PEP has been very similar. I would say 99% effective is a more representative of my experience than the often quoted 80% to 90%. However, the take home message here is really PEP is not 100% effective and should not be viewed as a ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ card.
HIV risk / Risk of HIV Infection / Transmission
|Female-to-Male Transmission||1 in 700 to 1 in 3,000|
|Male-to-Female Transmission||1 in 200 to 1 in 2,000|
|Male-to-Male Transmission||1 in 10 to 1 in 1,000|
The numbers confirm what we already know. Male to female transmission is more likely than female to male transmission. Male to male transmission is high risk. I must say that the risk numbers are higher than previously quoted. However, I must add that this does not specific sex act i.e. penile-vaginal sex, penile-anal sex etc. What is interesting is that they said the US CDC quoted Zero risk of fellatio. However in another part of the booklet, it says ‘Infection risk documented in unprotected oral receptive intercourse.’ This just proves what I have been saying all along: HIV risk from oral sex is controversial.
Factors that Increase the Risk of HIV Transmission
|Male-to-Female Transmission||Relative Risk|
|Gonococcal Cervicitis (Gonorrhea infection of the Cervix)||1.8-4.5|
|Vitamin A Deficiency||2.5|
|Lack of Circumcision||5.4-8.2|
|Sex during Menses||3.4|
So if you are a man and you are not circumcised, have genital ulcers caused by Herpes type 2 and have sex with a HIV +ve woman during her menses, you really have your odds stacked against you. But the ladies really have it rough. Even a common vaginal fungal infection will increase their risk of contracting HIV. What is interesting is that there is no mention of other STDs like Gonorrhea and Chlamydia etc. There is a mention however that a woman with cervicitis has more HIV viral DNS in her vaginal secretions (higher risk for men). Since most cervicitis are caused by and STD, this suggests that if a woman has an STD, her male partner is at a higher risk of contracting HIV. Similarly, men with Gonococcal Urethritis have more HIV viral DNA in their semen. This increases the risk of transferring HIV to their partner.
If you have any questions, visit our free online forum on sexual health, HIV and STDs.
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About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.