First case of woman-to-woman HIV transmission reported

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HOUSTON, TX – There’s been a historic breakthrough in HIV, but it’s not a good one. For years we’ve heard the scenarios.

“Typically we see HIV transmitted from men to men through sex, and women to men through sex because of the transfer of semen,” said Kathy Barton, Houston Dept. of Health and Human Services.

But now the first confirmed case of a woman infecting another woman with HIV has been reported by federal health officials. The case is shocking considering how rare female to female transmission is.

“Just the mechanics of the way women have sex with each other would not lend itself readily to transmission,” said Barton.

The women in this case are both in their 40’s and lived in Houston when the transmission happened in 2012.

The infected partner had reportedly been on treatment for HIV between 2009 and 2010, but had stopped taking the drugs. The CDC says genetic tests shows that the virus, in both of them, is more than 98% identical, proving they infected one another.

While this case is rare, it’s an important reminder to always be safe. Because male or female, HIV doesn’t discriminate.

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