Sunday, October 12


Issues Surrounding Encounters with Undetectable HIV-Positive Men

By Daniel S. Berger MD

Sexually active HIV-positive individuals are better off undergoing treatment to suppress virus and reduce transmission within our community. Since there’s the prevalence of resistant virus, individuals that have persistent viremia, should be on therapy that is truly effective. Many new class antiviral drugs are available and can suppress HIV, even in patients who have “triple class resistance.” Also patients that are on these new drugs, should be responsible enough to take their medications so as not to spread or transmit more resistant viruses.

Although HIV transmission has been curtailed among individuals who are undetectable and barebacking (unprotected sex) may be considered safe in some situations, there is still the prevalence of Hepatitis C, syphilis and resistant staph infection. SSF is common and more the rule than the exception. On the other hand, HIV-positive persons in stable relationships with HIV-negatives, or individuals who understand the importance of adherence to HIV treatment while getting frequent STD (sexually transmitted disease) screening may provide effective harm reduction. Still, condoms should always be considered when sexually interacting with unknown partners.

-Dr. Daniel Berger is a leading HIV specialist in the U.S. and is assistant professor of medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago and medical director and founder of Northstar Medical Center.