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HIV risk highest early in person's infection.

The risk of HIV transmission may be highest in the early stages of infection.

A study in the April 1 Journal of Infectious Diseases found that nearly half of all transmission in an HIV-infected population in Quebec occurred as early infections. A high viral load associated with early HIV infection is what makes newly infected people so infectious, said study authors Bluman Brenner, PhD, and Mark Wainberg, PhD, of the McGill AIDS Center in Montreal. The finding is of particular concern because while diagnosis of HIV reduces the risk of transmission, only a small proportion of infected people are diagnosed early on in their infection.

Wainberg recommended the creation of affordable tests such as polymerase chain reaction assays to directly monitor the presence of HIV instead of relying on the current method of antibody screening.
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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS: The latest public health studies and research; human immunodeficiency virus
Author:Arias, Donya C.
Publication:The Nation's Health
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:May 1, 2007
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