ZERO HIV transmissions in PARTNER study: most widely reported i-Base article

AIDS 2016 combined logoSimon Collins, HIV i-Base

Published to coincide with AIDS 2016, and also included in the conference programme, the final results from the main PARTNER study generated headline news. [1, 2]

The top line results were that with an undetectable viral load, almost 900 sero-different couples had sex more than 58,000 times without using condoms – and without a single case of HIV transmission. Although the conference website doesn’t currently link to the abstract, Powerpoint slides or webcast of this oral presentation, the full paper is available as an open access paper in JAMA.

Phylogenetic analysis proved that all 11 new infections that did occur, were not linked to the main partner.

The full results are reported in a separate HTB report [3] together with a non-technical Q&A explaining the study in non-technical language. [4]


This study generated such interest that within a few days of the i-Base reports being posted, Facebook links had been shared more than 300 times, with a reach of 40,000 people.

Several other HIV organisations translated the articles and versions in Spanish, Russian and Turkish were soon online, with edited versions being distributed in many other countries including South Africa and the US. [5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

This unprecedented level of interest for an i-Base report reflects the importance of these results to people living with HIV.


  1. Rodger A et al. Association between sexual activity without condoms and risk of HIV transmission in serodifferent couples when the HIV-positive partner is using suppressive antiretroviral therapy: the PARTNER study. 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016). Durban, July 18-22. Abstract TUAC0206.
  2. Rodger AJ et al for the PARTNER study group. Sexual activity without condoms and risk of HIV transmission in serodifferent couples when the HIV-positive partner is using suppressive antiretroviral therapy. JAMA, 2016;316(2):1-11. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2016.5148. (12 July 2016). Full free access.
  3. Collins S. ZERO: no linked HIV transmissions in PARTNER study after couples had sex 58,000 times without condoms. HIV Treatment Bulletin, 12 July 2016.
  4. Collins S. Q&A on the PARTNER study: how to interpret the zero transmission results. HIV Treatment Bulletin, 12 July 2016.
  5. Preguntas y Respuestas sobre el estudio PARTNER: Cómo interpretar el resultado de cero transmisiones. (Spanish)
  6. CERO: No se registró ningún caso de transmisión del VIH vinculado a la pareja en el estudio PARTNER, tras 58.000 relaciones sexuales sin usar condón.(Spanish)
  7. Исследование PARTNER: НОЛЬ случаев передачи ВИЧ на 58 000 половых актов без использования презерватива. (Russian)
  8. Çiftler arasında yapılan ve 4 yıl süren bir araştırmada, 58,000 kondomsuz temas sonrasında tespit edilen HIV bulaşı oranı; SIFIR! (Turkish)Çiftler-arasında-yapılan-Vve-4-yıl-süren-bir-araştırmada-58000-kondomsuz-temas-sonrasında-tespit-edilen-HIV-bulaşı-oranı-SIFIR
  9. GroundUp: No HIV transmissions after sex 58,000 times without condoms. (South Africa).

Links to other websites are current at date of posting but not maintained.