"We've known for a while that people on suppressive therapy are much less likely to infect a partner. We saw a presentation from the highest possible risk cohort, the PARTNER study, in which the negative partner has the highest-possible-risk -- sex, MSM (men who have sex with men), anal receptive, with ejaculate exposure from their positive partner on therapy. In their study, albeit of only a few hundred men, observed for only a year, there were zero transmissions in the men on therapy, even though these guys were at the highest possible risk for transmission.
"That's pretty important because, number one, we didn't know that. We hoped for that, but there it is. Number two, there are still possible ways in which this is an overstatement of it, and it could go wrong. There are lots of ways it could go wrong. But I think it will increase the passion around treatment as prevention because, even with the highest risk, condomless anal sex, this is working. So I think that if anything might infuse an extra level of importance, to me that was stunning."
-- Calvin Cohen, M.D., M.S., Director of Research, Community Research Initiative of New England, Boston.