A global research project being launched in Australia is seeking to determine whether HIV treatment reduces the risk of HIV transmission within serodiscordant gay relationships (where one partner is HIV-positive and the other HIV-negative).
The Opposites Attract Study is being coordinated by the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales, and will be conducted through 15 sexual health, HIV and GP clinics in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.
Further sites may also open in Cairns and Canberra.
Professor Andrew Grulich of the Kirby Institute said the study will provide important information about how much HIV treatments and viral load affects the possibility of transmission in serodiscordant couples.
“In the last year, research findings in heterosexuals have shown that when the HIV-positive partner is on treatments, the risk of HIV transmission to their HIV-negative partner is reduced by 96 percent – effectively eliminating transmission,” Grulich said.
“The problem is there is simply no data anywhere in world on this question that apply to gay men.”