This Week In HIV Research


This Week in HIV Research: Condomless Sex More Common During the Treatment-as-Prevention Era

March 31, 2017

This week, a study finds that condomless sex among men living with HIV has risen during the treatment-as-prevention era. Another study finds that statins are less effective in people with HIV who have lower baseline vitamin D levels. And people living with HIV who are wait-listed for kidney transplants are significantly less likely to be selected than candidates without HIV, according to an analysis. To beat HIV, you have to follow the science!

Condomless Sex More Common in Treatment-as-Prevention Era

Public health messages about HIV treatment as prevention are having an unintended consequence, an analysis of survey data spanning nearly two decades shows.

Researchers asked 1,831 men at a gay pride event in Atlanta, Ga., about their sexual behavior and attitudes in four different years between 1997 and 2015. As information emerged over those years that people living with HIV who have an undetectable viral load do not transmit the virus, condomless anal sex or intercourse with multiple partners increased.

In 1997, respondents living with HIV used condoms in 82% of sexual acts; by 2015 that figure had dropped to 47%, a related press release reports. Fewer than half of those surveyed who had not been diagnosed with HIV had anal sex without a condom in 1997, while close to two-thirds did so in 2015.

The results show that current "community-held beliefs and behaviors ... create a new and potentially problematic environment for HIV transmission," researchers conclude. The study was published in Archives of Sexual Behavior.


Related: This Week in HIV Research: Proposed Federal Budget Cuts Would Disrupt Health Research

Baseline Vitamin D Deficiency Reduces Effectiveness of Statins

Rosuvastatin was less effective in people living with HIV who had low vitamin D levels prior to taking the statin than in those with normal levels of the vitamin, a study published in Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome found.

The clinical trial randomized 147 people who were taking antiretroviral therapy to receive either rosuvastatin or a placebo for 96 weeks. Vitamin D levels remained similar between the two study arms, indicating that the statin did not improve those levels. Previous studies that did not include a placebo arm had shown such an improvement.

The study drug had little effect on lipid levels, as well as TF expressing patrolling monocytes, Lp-PLA2 and CCA IMT in participants who had low (

Kidney Transplants Less Likely for People Living With HIV

People living with HIV who are on a waiting list for a kidney transplant are significantly less likely to receive a donated organ than transplant candidates who do not live with HIV, an analysis of data from the U.S. transplant registry shows.

This trend was even more pronounced when only living donors were considered. Almost a third of those living with HIV in the U.S. have renal problems, an accompanying press release notes. Transplant candidates who live with HIV are more likely to die while on dialysis than are those not living with HIV. Living organ donors often personally know the recipient of their donation, study author Jayme Locke, M.D., noted in the press release.

Potential donors for people living with HIV may therefore themselves live with the virus. She called for research to identify people living with HIV who could safely donate a kidney, despite the relatively high prevalence of renal problems among that group. The analysis was published in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Warren Tong is the senior science editor for and Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.

Barbara Jungwirth is a freelance writer and translator based in New York. Follow Barbara on Twitter: @reliabletran.

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This article was provided by TheBodyPRO.

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