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HIV treatment has not led to increasing sexual risk-taking in rural South African communities
Gus Cairns, 2013-08-02 07:40:00

A study from a rural area in the province of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, has found no evidence that providing widespread antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV has led to increased sexual risk-taking in the general population.

Rather the reverse: during the period studied, condom use with a regular partner significantly increased and the proportion of people reporting multiple sexual partners decreased.

The researchers comment that: “Evidence that trends in sexual behaviour at the population level are not counter-acting the preventive effects of HIV welcome news”. But they stress that their findings only apply to the initial roll-out period of ART and that continued monitoring will be needed.