Intuitively, one would expect that lower viral loads would result in less likelihood of transmission, but there is no clinical evidence that this is actually so. Furthermore, people often confuse probability with possibility. Lead researcher Dr. Stephen Kravcik suggests that transmission of HIV may increase "if changes in knowledge and attitudes toward HIV risk lead to a change in sexual and drug use behaviors and practices."
The bottom line: HIV+ people must still maintain the highest levels of caution and responsibility in their intimate relationships. Just because the chance of infecting someone else may be lower does not mean that the chance is removed. And with this often-fatal disease, any chance is unacceptable. (for details, see Journal of AIDS and Human Retrovirology, 10/1/98.)
-- Sandy Bartlett, Community Information/Education Coordinator
AIDS Services of Austin
ASA Info Line: 458-AIDS