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Do people living with HIV who have an undetectable viral load need to wear condoms?
Liz Highleyman, 2016-11-02 06:50:00
In the face of extensive research showing that people
living with HIV who are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with stable
undetectable viral load have an extremely low likelihood of transmitting the
virus, a majority of participants at IDWeek 2016 in New Orleans thought they
should still be advised to use condoms – a proportion that actually increased
after a debate that laid out the evidence.
Lisa Winston of the University
of California at San Francisco argued the 'Pro' side, while Roy Gulick from Weill Medical College of Cornell
University took the 'Con' position.
Before the debate audience members were asked to
vote on whether it is completely unnecessary for HIV-positive men with
undetectable viral load to wear a condom, unnecessary if viral load has been
continuously negative for a year, or condoms should always be used. At the
outset 63.5% voted for always using a condom, 12.8% said it was completely
unnecessary and 23.6% thought it was unnecessary with conditions.