NEW YORK, August 18 (Praxis Press). The sexual transmission of HIV is a public health concern, and antiretroviral therapy has been shown in clinical trials to reduce the shedding of HIV in semen. Extending this research to the community setting, Barroso and colleagues studied the effects of antiretroviral therapy on viral shedding in semen in 93 HIV-infected men. Before antiretroviral therapy, HIV RNA was detected in 96% of blood samples and 74% of semen samples; after 6 months of therapy, HIV RNA was detected in 38% of blood samples and 33% of semen samples. Seminal HIV RNA remained detectable in 38% of patients receiving double nucleoside therapy and in 13% of patients receiving triple-drug therapy that included a protease inhibitor. In a community setting, antiretroviral therapy reduces concentrations of HIV RNA in semen and may decrease HIV transmissibility; however, many patients may remain infectious.

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