October 26,2017 –
The following statement has been provided to the Adult Performers Actors Guild by Dr Goldman –
The recently published statement from the CDC regarding the transmissibility of HIV in patients with undetectable viral loads should be taken in context of two important factors. The first part highlights the importance and success of medical advances to combat a serious and deadly public health threat. The second part illustrates the need for better access to care and treatment. While an undetectable viral load has been shown to prevent the transmission of HIV to an uninfected partner, it presupposes that the viral load is always below that level and that the individual is compliant and consistent with anti-retroviral therapy.
It is important to differentiate between bench research and real world application of science. Many factors exist which will allow for an increase of viral load, including failure of patients to take their medications, resistance of the virus, other co-infections, and numerous other variables not always identified.
In my opinion, the purpose of the statement was not to be used as an excuse to avoid safer sex practices and appropriate precautions, but rather as a illustration of how far we have come in the disease treatment and how far we have yet to go. Every individual should know the status of their partner and be able to take proper precautions to prevent the spread of HIV. A partner has the right to various safer sex practices, including condoms and PrEP.
An undetectable viral load should not be the sole criteria for determining what preventative steps are taken and one should not be forced to be exposed to HIV without knowledge beforehand and the ability to make an informed decision based on all available facts.