The data analysis of the AIDS prevention study conducted in 1994-1998 gathered information from more than 15000 men and women aged 15-59 in rural Rakai Uganda. At follow-up visits every 10 months participants were asked to provide blood and urine samples and women were asked for a self-collected vaginal swab; all samples were tested for HIV and a variety of other sexually transmitted diseases. The participants also completed interviews in which they were asked about their background characteristics and sexual behavior. Couples in which one partner had been HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative at enrollment were identified and the probability of infection assessed. Results note that on average each time a monogamous heterosexual couple in which one partner is HIV-positive has intercourse the probability that the virus will be transmitted to the uninfected partner is 0.11%. This probability rises significantly as the infected partners viral load increases and it is elevated if the HIV-positive partner has genital ulcers. In view of this perspective it is suggested that interventions aimed at lowering viral load could reduce transmission.
International Family Planning Perspectives