Washington: A new Chinese study has revealed that in married couples, where one partner is HIV-positive and the other is not, antiretroviral therapy (ART) does not lower the risk of HIV transmission to the uninfected partner.The research has raised questions as to the real-world effectiveness of the so-called Test-And-Treat strategy-treating HIV-positive persons with ART drugs in an effort to prevent new cases of HIV infection.Led by Lu Wang of the Chinese Center for Disease Control & Prevention, the study included 1,927 married couples in the city of Zhumadian, Henan Province.The couples were initially "serodiscordant," meaning that one partner had HIV while the other did not.
Just as important, the use of ART did not lower the risk of HIV transmission to the initially HIV-negative spouse.Risk did appear lower for couples in which the HIV-positive spouse did not switch his or her ART regimen during follow-up.In previous studies, ART significantly lowered the rate of HIV transmission in serodiscordant couples, which generally received close medical follow-up. In contrast, the Chinese study shows no reduction in HIV transmission-even though all couples had access to health care services, including ART drugs.The findings were published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. ANI
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