HIV Undetectable: Semen is Not A Risk, Expert Debunks Researcher
Josh Robbins contacts Dr. Carl Dieffenbach, Director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to put to bed the enduring and stigmatizing fallacy that HIV genetic material in semen is a cause for alarm.
“This study found HIV genetic material in the semen of men living with HIV who are on antiretroviral therapy. We have known for decades that HIV genetic material exists in bodily fluids of those living with HIV who are virally suppressed. On its own, HIV genetic material, RNA or DNA, is not infectious. It is not ‘whole virus,’ which is needed for HIV to infect a living cell. The proof is in the pudding, and in this case, in the studies like HPTN 052 that have very carefully tracked virus in blood as the true marker of lack of viral suppression or rebound. These studies demonstrate that a person living with HIV who is durably virally suppressed, has a negligible risk of transmitting the virus to their sexual partner.”