A man’s risk of acquiring HIV from an infected partner doubles if that partner is pregnant, according to a surprising new study presented at this week’s 2010 International Microbicides Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Experts believe that biological changes in pregnant women may increase the amount of virus they shed, thus making them more infectious and leaving their partners more vulnerable. Prior studies have already shown that pregnant women are at increased risk of acquiring HIV from an infected mate. Having a sexually transmitted infection (like herpes or chlamydia) which can sometimes be silent, not knowing your or your partner’s status, and presuming you’re in a committed relationship (when you’re actually sharing a partner) also leave Black women in harm’s way. Bottom line: Use a condom. Every time. And get tested so you know where you stand. This new study followed more than 3,300 couples in Africa in which one partner was HIV+ but the other was HIV- to track transmission. Couples did have access to condoms and were counseled on how to prevent passing the disease from one partner to the other.
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