Several ongoing randomized, controlled trials will provide further information on the impact of HSV suppressive therapy on the acquisition and transmission of HIV as well as the temporality of HSV-2/HIV co-infection. Although in India HIV prevention interventions have been concentrated on high-risk groups and their immediate contacts , the findings of the present study suggest that seronegative individuals in long-term discordant relationships are at high risk of infection as a result of continued sexual exposure. The proportion of infections occurring in married couples is likely to increase as the epidemic matures and spreads beyond conventional ‘core groups’. As HAART has increasingly
become accessible across click here the developing world, the relationship between ART and sexual risk-taking behaviours has become more important. As ART significantly
reduces a patient’s viral load and leads to improvements in physical health and quality of life, studies from the developed world have suggested that ART-experienced individuals may be more likely to resume sexual activity, including MK-1775 solubility dmso unsafe sex, as a result of ‘treatment optimism’ [1,5,37]. However, ART also reduces the infectiousness of individuals who receive therapy, which could prevent new infections and have important ramifications on the future course of the HIV epidemic . In the current study, patients who were in seroconverting relationships were less likely to be receiving ART. Studies from different African settings have indicated that access to ART is associated with a lower likelihood of risky sexual behaviours in comparison to patients who do not have access to ART [30,39,40]; a study from Uganda reported that ART-experienced patients were more likely to report consistent condom use, receive treatment for STIs and disclose their HIV status to their spouses . Although a recent population-level triclocarban study from South Africa found that the impact
of HAART in reducing the sexual transmission of HIV would be small under current WHO guidelines in which many patients may have CD4 cell counts above the 200 cells/μL cut-off to initiate therapy but have high HIV RNA plasma load . The current understanding of the role of ART in the sexual transmission of HIV in serodiscordant couples will be improved through the randomized controlled HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052 of the National Institutes of Health . This interventional study will help explain how ART can make HIV-infected individuals less infectious. Close to one-third of patients (index cases) who transmitted HIV to their spouse between 6 and 12 months of care consumed alcohol on a regular basis, which was higher than patients in persistently discordant relationships. Alcohol use can lead to increased sexual risk-taking behaviour and decreased condom use .