The U.S. government has confirmed the first-ever case of HIV transmission between two women. The rare case of lesbian transmission of the Human immunodeficiency virus caused a stir worldwide over the weekend when details were released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Genetic testing proved the virus to be 98 percent identical in both women, essentially proving that one had infected the other, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The women, both in their 40s, lived in Houston when the transmission occurred in 2012. In epidemiological findings, the woman who acquired HIV had a history of heterosexual intercourse, but not in the 10 years prior to HIV infection. She supplemented her income by selling her blood plasma, but was denied after testing positive for HIV.
The couple reported routinely having unprotected oral and vaginal sex with no barrier precautions (dental dams) and the use of toys, sometimes roughly, which caused bleeding.
The infected partner had been on treatment for HIV, but stopped taking drugs in 2010.
“One of the problems here is that the original positive person decided to stop her treatment, which gave her more ability to be transmissive," Kathy Barton of the Houston Health and Human Services Department told the Houston Press.