Dr Kema Onu, the Site Coordinator, Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF), an NGO, has said that the relationship between HIV negative and positive couples or partners was healthy and safe.
Onu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja that such relationship was known as serodiscordant relationship.
He explained that when the positive partner was consistent in their intake of anti-retroviral drugs and the use of condom, the risk of transmission reduces significantly to the negative partner.
According to him, one of the benefits of anti-retroviral drug is that if the positive partner takes the medication consistently, the virus could be suppressed to an undetectable level.
Onu added that with an undetectable viral load between three to six months of the individual, there was 96 to 97 per cent chance reduction in infecting the next person, even without the use of condom.
“An undetectable viral load from an HIV positive person consistently on anti-retroviral drug does not mean the virus is not there completely.
“It means that the billions of virus have been suppressed to a level that the machine cannot detect the virus less than 22 copies which reduces the chance of transmission.
“85 per cent of such couples are found in most health facilities and out of the 85 per cent, 72 per cent of the positive partners are women.
“Over the past 12 years, research has shown that about 45,000 couples have been understudy and none of them have come out positive,” he said.
Besides, Onu said that serodiscordant relationships should be encouraged because the anatomy of a man’s organ hardly gets infected and that the sex position exposes them to less risk.
He said there were individuals, if consistently exposed to the risk of HIV infection, cannot get infected because such persons genetically lack the receptor of the virus gaining access into their body.
The expert further encouraged more couples to embrace such relationships as it was healthy and safe if consistent on their medication and use of condom.
Onu added that various fertility options were also available for partners or couples who intend to have children of their own.
According to him, the options include Invitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Intraunterine Insemination (IUI).
He explained IVF as a manually combine egg and sperm in a laboratory dish and transfer of the embryo into the uterus, while IUI refers to a fertility treatment that places sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilisation. (NAN)