The World Health Organization's (WHO) 2013 guidelines for using antiretrovirals (ARVs) to prevent the transmission of HIV will benefit a mere fraction of the targeted group in the Ivory Coast, aidsmap reports. WHO advises that all people with HIV, regardless of CD4 levels, should take ARVs if they have an HIV-negative partner. Research has shown that ARVs lower the likelihood of transmitting HIV in mixed-HIV status couples to potentially negligible levels—a paradigm known as treatment as prevention, or TasP.

Publishing their findings in the journal AIDS, researchers conducted interviews in the west African nation of 929 HIV-positive people whose CD4s were above 500, aksking them about their partnership status and the HIV status of their partners. Seventy-two percent of the participants, who were interviewed in 2012, had a stable sexual partner. Of this group, 67 percent had revealed their HIV status to their partner, and 59 percent knew their partner's HIV status. Eighty-two percent of those who had disclosed their own HIV status to their partner knew the partner's HIV status, compared with just 10 percent of those who had not self-disclosed.

Thirty percent were not in a stable sexual relationship, 24 percent were in a partnership with an HIV-positive person, and 34 percent were in a stable partnership but did not know the HIV status of their partner. This left just 12 percent who were in a stable sexual relationship with someone they knew was HIV negative—the only segment of the group that would ultimately be subject to these particular WHO recommendations about starting ARVs.

To read the aidsmap story, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.