Back to antiretroviral medication – the most commonly prescribed drugs for those living with and preventing the spread of HIV. The keyword here is prevention.
If you're an HIV discordant couple, meaning that one of you is living with HIV and the other is not – you are still able to engage in sexual intercourse. You are even able to have a child together with a less than one percent chance of the child being infected with HIV.
How does this work? Your doctor essentially prescribes antiretroviral drugs to your spouse or the individual who is susceptible but undiagnosed with the infection, the same way he/she would to a person infected with HIV. This trial was conducted with heterosexual discordant couples in sites around the world and is known as HPTN052. It proved to be 96 percent effective in reducing the rate of infection in the HIV- individual, when consistently used. Studies have shown that the level of protection is strongly related to the level of adherence to the daily regimen.
This same sort of idea, known as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is often used for pregnant HIV+ women to prevent the passing of HIV to their infant. The same program is often used to treat HIV- gay men who are at high risk for contracting the virus.