The ongoing PARTNER study has recently published research which adds important data to our knowledge about preventing HIV transmission. This study included 1166 serodifferent couples (548 were heterosexual) where the positive partner was on effective antiretroviral treatment (ART) with suppressed viral load and who also reported sex without a condom. During the follow up period of 1.3 years, there were no documented cases of within-couple HIV transmission.
In Australia about 15% of people diagnosed with HIV report heterosexual transmission. We know that almost half of this group are diagnosed with HIV late which means there is a high rate of men and women who do not know they have contracted HIV. The best way to stop HIV transmission is to have a HIV test so that you do know and can start treatment. Heterosexual people who have had sex overseas or have a partner from overseas should ask their GP about a HIV test. If you are not sure whether you need a test talk to your GP.