Treatment News : Viral Load Persists in Genital Tracts of More Women Than Men Taking ARVs

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Treatment News » April 2013

Most Popular Links
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

20 Years Ago In POZ

More Treatment News

Click here for more news

Have news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to


April 24, 2013

Viral Load Persists in Genital Tracts of More Women Than Men Taking ARVs

Even on successful antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, about 16 percent of women and 4 percent of men with HIV in a recent study experienced a persistent viral load in their genital secretions, suggesting that the female genital tract in particular may be a reservoir for the virus, aidsmap reports. A team of international investigators from the ACTG A5185s trial studied men and women with HIV from seven countries, including Brazil, India, Malawi, Peru, South Africa, the United States and Zimbabwe. They published their findings in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The investigators started the study participants on different combinations of ARVs and measured their respective blood and genital fluid viral loads at the beginning of the study and then after 48 and 96 weeks of treatment. Fifty-five percent of the men had HIV subtype B, and the remainder had subtype C. Seventy-six percent of the women had subtype C, and the rest subtype B. The median blood viral load was about 80,000 at the outset of the study, a figure that did not vary between the sexes. HIV was detectable in 82 percent of semen samples and 86 percent of cervical samples at the study baseline.

At the outset of the study, the women with subtype C of the virus had a median viral of about 125,000 in their genital tract, compared with 10,000 for the women with subtype B. Men with subtype C had a median viral load of 20,000 in their semen, compared with a seminal viral load of 6,000 for men with subtype B.

Sixteen percent of women and 6 percent of men had a detectable viral load in genital secretions at week 48 of the study. By week 96, the women still had a 16 percent rate of detectable viral load in genital secretions, compared with only 3 percent of men. Women with subtype C of the virus maintained their higher comparative levels of detectable viral load in cervical samples.

These findings notwithstanding, an increasing body of research has found that transmitting HIV between members of heterosexual couples is highly unlikely if the HIV-positive partner has an undetectable viral load in the blood as a consequence of ARV treatment.

To read the aidsmap story, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.

Search: viral load, genital secretions, cervical, semen, HIV, aidsmap, ACTG A5185s, subtype B, subtype C.

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (0 total)

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.