(HealthDay News) – HIV-uninfected partners of HIV-infected individuals do not substantially increase risky sexual behavior even after taking prophylactic drugs to prevent HIV transmission, according to a study published online Oct. 17 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Kenneth K. Mugwanya, MBChB, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues analyzed data from 3,024 HIV-uninfected individuals from heterosexual HIV-serodiscordant couples who had been randomized to placebo or oral pre-exposure prophylaxis. The researchers compared the frequency of sex unprotected by a condom during the 12 months before and the 12 months after the results for HIV prevention efficacy were reported.

The researchers found no significant change in the average frequency of unprotected sex with the HIV-infected partner nor any change over time after the results were reported. There was a small but significant increase in unprotected sex with outside partners after the results were unmasked. There was no significant increase in sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy.

“Pre-exposure prophylaxis, provided as part of a comprehensive prevention package, might not result in substantial changes in risk-taking sexual behavior by heterosexual couples,” Mugwanya and colleagues conclude.

The study medication was donated by Gilead Sciences.

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