Blanket criminalization of HIV nondisclosure has been shown to backfire. It reduces the likelihood that people will get tested for fear of breaking a law, thus paradoxically increasing the risk of transmission. By contrast, studies showing that people who have been diagnosed and who are following their treatment have not been able to spread HIV to their partners, even if the sex act is unprotected and even if the HIV negative partner is not taking PrEP. Per this blog’s usual stance of evidence based policy, this supports the conclusion that blanket nondisclosure penalties are unjustified.
For the second time in two years, a massive study has found that for men who have managed their viral load to undetectable levels, it’s virtually impossible for them to transfer HIV to their male sexual partners.
Unlike last year’s study (“PARTNER”), which involved both different-sex and same-sex couples, the new study (“Opposites Attract”) focused entirely on same-sex male couples from Thailand, Brazil, and Australia with mixed HIV statuses. When one partner is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative, they’re referred to as a serodiscordant couple.
Over the four years these couples were followed, the study captured about 12,000 condomless sex acts between an HIV-positive partner with an undetectable viral load and an HIV-negative partner who was not taking PrEP, medication that helps protect people from contracting the virus. There were zero HIV transmissions.
An additional 5,000 condomless sex acts took place between a partner with an undetectable viral load and a partner who was taking PrEP. There were zero HIV transmissions.
Read more here.