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Rare case of HIV transmitted through lesbian sex reported in US

Rare case of HIV transmitted through lesbian sex reported in US

An ‘extremely rare’ case of HIV transmitted through lesbian sex is being reported in the US.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a case of female-to-female transmission of HIV in Houston, Texas.

A woman, 46, was investigated to have a virus almost identical to that of her female partner, 43.

According to the CDC, the infection took place during a six-month monogamous relationship.

The 46-year-old woman who contracted HIV had not injected drugs, had no tattoos, nor had acupuncture, transfusion or transplants.

In April 2012, the 43-year-old was diagnosed with HIV, began antiretroviral treatment in February 2009 and stopped in November 2010.

The CDC report reads: ‘The couple reported routinely having unprotected [using no barrier precautions] oral and vaginal contact and using insertive sex toys that were shared between them but were not shared with any other persons.

‘They described their sexual contact as at times rough to the point of inducing bleeding in either woman.’

Female-to-female transmission of HIV is extremely rare, with only a handful of cases confirmed.
Paul Ward, Acting Chief Executive at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: ‘Sex between two women carries an extremely low risk of HIV transmission.

‘However, in any sexual pairing, the risk of transmission increases when one of the couple has HIV but is not on treatment.

‘In this case, when the HIV-positive partner stopped taking anti-HIV drugs in 2010, it is likely the amount of virus in her blood increased dramatically.

‘Modern drug treatments don’t just keep people with HIV fit and well; they can also greatly reduce the risk of infection.’