CDC Genetically Confirms First Case Of Lesbian HIV Transmission

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first genetically confirmed case of HIV transmission between two women.

HivThe women — a monogamous, mixed-HIV-status, Houston couple in their 40s — reported having no other sex partners for half a year before infection, and also reported regularly having sex during menstruation and with insertive sex toys which sometimes caused bleeding.

Researchers found a more-than-98 percent genetic match between each woman’s HIV viruses, “all but proving that one had infected the other.”

Previous studies of suspected female-to-female HIV transmissions have either not involved genetic testing or have involved other possible HIV-culprits such as male sex partners, IV drugs and blood transfusions.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office on Women’s Health suggests that women who have sex with women always use “condoms correctly… when using sex toys,” as well as “dental dams to lower the risk of getting or spreading HIV through oral sex.” They do acknowledge however “not much research has been done to prove that [dental dams] are effective.”


  1. DRoseDARs says

    Sooo… the story here actual is that HIV is a blood and sexual fluid-borne disease and unsafe safe spreads it, and assuming you’re not infected just because you’ve been monogamous for a few months is NOT an effective means of prevention. Who ever could have imagined?

  2. roger says

    The CDC is homophobic. It classifies illnesses as sexual identities, and thus demonizes entire groups of people.

    Towleroad should be criticizing, not quoting, the CDC.

  3. says

    They were mixed-status going into their relationship, so if they were having unprotected sex that involved bleeding, it’s not astonishing news, and it doesn’t necessarily follow that one of them was not telling the truth.

    @Jason, I mean, Roger: facts aren’t homophobic, neither is identifying a couple as lesbian.

    Daniel: please check your links before publishing your posts to make sure they actually work.

  4. antisaint says

    @Randy – from the article: “The women in the new case, both in their 40s, lived in Houston when the transmission took place in 2012. The infected partner had been on treatment for H.I.V. from early 2009 to late 2010 but had stopped taking the drugs.”

  5. Brian W. says

    “reported regularly having sex during menstruation and with insertive sex toys which sometimes caused bleeding”

    Eww Why???

    Sex during menstruation is nasty. I know from experience.

    If you’re using sex toys and they cause bleeding, YOU ARE NOT DOING RIGHT!! Ugh!

  6. Donny says

    Contrary to popular belief, HIV can be transmitted through oral sex. There are plenty of HIV+ men who do not participate in anal sex and have become infected by giving oral sex to an HIV+ partner.

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