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People with HIV still expect a lower quality of life than their negative peers, European survey finds
Gus Cairns, 2017-10-27 13:10:00

A study commissioned by the drug company Gilead Sciences and conducted in five European countries has found that, compared with their HIV-negative peers, people with HIV still expect to die sooner and think they are less likely to achieve a long-term relationship.

The results were announced yesterday during the 16th European AIDS Conference (EACS 2017) in Milan, Italy.

The survey found that 54% of HIV-positive people considered HIV to be a barrier to sex with others, and of them 87% (47% of the whole group) said that they feared transmitting the virus to others.

This could be seen as a rational or well-informed fear, as this was a relatively young group of people with HIV and just under two-thirds of them were actually on antiretroviral therapy (ART), with under half with a reported undetectable viral load.

However, whether people were virally suppressed or not in fact made little difference, with 38% of those with an undetectable viral load fearing transmitting the virus to others, and 43% who were detectable.

Similarly nearly half said their HIV would be a barrier to having a family naturally if they wanted children, with 73% of those (35% of all HIV-positive people) saying that they would be afraid to transmit their HIV either to their partner or, in the case of women, to their unborn child.