“The results of this important study provide further proof that people living with HIV are not a threat to anyone,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Programs, Research, and Training. “It is clear that getting tested, knowing your status, and accessing HIV treatment can help end this epidemic by reducing the spread of HIV.
Not only do these findings underscore the continued need for universal access to affordable medications, but they also also cast further doubt on the utility of HIV criminalisation laws. Such laws run counter to public health by perpetuating stigma and discouraging people from getting tested or treated for HIV in the first place.”
In more than 30 states, people living with HIV who fail to disclose their HIV-positive status to a partner can be charged with a crime, and if convicted, face imprisonment. Earlier this year, HRC partnered with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Center for HIV Law and Policy to launch #EndBadHIVLaws, an advocacy campaign focused on raising awareness of these outdated laws and equipping activists with new tools to mobilise grassroots support.
The landmark PARTNER study was published in the July edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. More than 1100 mixed-status couples, where one partner is HIV-negative and the other is living with HIV and on ART, were enrolled in the study. Researchers found no linked cases of HIV transmission despite 58,000 instances of condomless sex among the couples.
To find out more about HRC’s work to promote HIV prevention, treatment and care, visit www.hrc.org/explore/topic/hiv-aids.