who are repeatedly exposed to semen have a decrease chance of
becoming infected with HIV, as the vaginal tissue immune cells, which
are susceptible to HIV, are altered.
based on the latest information from researchers at the University of
Puerto Rico and Wister Institute in Philadelphia. However, there
were also multiple researchers for the study that came from Duke
University, Tulane University, the University of Pennsylvania, Ulm
University, Mount Holyoke College and the University of Nebraska.
study, which was recently published in the Nature Communications
journal, would explain why a minute number of women who regularly
engage in sex continue to test negative for HIV even though they
involve themselves in high-risk behavior.
2015 study found that exposure to semen changed the cervicovaginal
tissue in female sex workers, which means a lower risk for HIV
latest study looked at whether or not semen could aid in HIV
HIV infection has been around for 30+ years, but the study is the
first of its kind to demonstrate how semen exposure could affect
tissue and reduce the spread of HIV in humans.
J. Montaner, scientist and the study’s lead author, said the
information isn’t just about the regulation of HIV transmission but
helpful in future studies of female sex workers to come up with an
HIV vaccine. He said condomless sex is thought to only increase
infection rates. However, it appears that constant exposure to semen
could reduce the transmission of HIV.
of Puerto Rico Professor Edmundo N. Kraiselburd helped with the
pre-clinical research project and oversaw the use of macaque primates
to test prophylactic anti-HIV interventions. He said the macaque
model research offers important information that can be used in
determining human HIV infections.
a period of five months, primates were exposed to semen two times a
week with or within the simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV. (SIV is
the primate’s equivalent to human HIV. The virus also causes a
similar AIDS-like disease). After the exposure for this period, they
were given low amounts of intravaginal SIV.
monkeys exposed to semen regularly had a 42-percent drop in infection
fact, constantly being exposed to semen showed an increase in
antiviral levels in cervicovaginal tissue including MX1, which
connected positively with IFN-epsilon levels. IFN-epsilon offers
direct anti-HIV properties and was noted as being seen in sex
workers’ tissues where condomless sex took place.
is still no idea if the news is good for the 17.4 million (51
percent) women who have HIV.
study found primates who were not infected after exposure to low
viral amounts later became infected when they were exposed to high
virus doses. This simply means that repeated semen exposure offers
some, not all, protection from an HIV infection.
said the study showed that semen exposure offers host resistance but
won’t block an infection entirely. He said people should still use
condoms and take PrEP to prevent the spread of HIV infection.