Persistent HIV RNA shedding in semen despite effective antiretroviral therapy
Effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) may reduce HIV sexual transmission by lowering genital HIV levels. A prospective study of men starting ART (n = 25) demonstrated rapid, substantial reductions in semen HIV RNA. However, despite an undetectable blood viral load, isolated semen HIV shedding was detected at more than one visit in 12 of 25 (48%) participants, with semen HIV RNA levels exceeding 5000 copies/ml in four of 25 (16%). Isolates were drug-sensitive, and this phenomenon was not associated with semen drug levels or regimen.
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