The risk of HIV transmission rises with the level of the virus in semen and cervical fluid, according to a new study published in Science Translational Medicine and reported in HealthyDay. The correlation hasn't been proved to this extent before, explained the study's lead author, Jared M. Baeten, MD, PhD, of the University of Washington in Seattle. For the study, researchers took samples of genital fluid from 2,521 heterosexual couples living in seven African countries in which one partner in each couple was living with HIV and not taking HIV meds. Over a two-year period, 78 partners contracted the virus within their relationship. Researchers found that the risk of transmission nearly doubled for every specified HIV increase in the genital fluids of those who transmitted the virus compared with those who didn't transmit it.

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