A new study warns that certain drug treatments that are used to suppress HIV could potentially be the increase a person's susceptibility and driving force behind the development of another sexually transmitted infection, syphilis. Researchers have found that through having the notion of eradicating the "fear factor" brought by these drugs, syphilis cases might be put at new pedestal. Highly active antiretroviral therapy which is commonly known as HAART have long been perceived by experts to have the ability of controlling the viral load which makes it virtually undetectable - and preventing or delaying the progression to AIDS.
The Cure For HIV Can Actually Increase Syphilis
According to reports revealed by Daily Mail, the new study explains that the absence of the fear factor may have prompted higher rates of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) which usually results to a risky, unprotected sex. It was believed that this is also the same reason why there was a rapid growth of syphilis cases in gay and bisexual men over the last three years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already revealed that in the US alone, there was a rise by 15 percent from 2013 to 2014 and another 19 percent from 2014 to 2015. However, despite these facts, the researchers have highly emphasized that it isn't clear yet as to why the rates of syphilis among gay/bisexual men are much higher compared to chlamydia or gonorrhea rates.
Is HAART Not Safe Anymore?
In one of his statements reported by the International Business Times, study lead author Dr. Michael Rekart from the University of British Columbia, has allegedly reviewed scientific literature, in order for them to thoroughly analyze the impact of HAART on behavioral and immune system changes. It was found that the data that they have collected have reportedly enabled them to create risk models to assess the likelihood of syphilis infection, wherein people who have been taking HAART were predicted to have more sexual partners and to have greater susceptibility to Treponema pallidum, the bacteria responsible for syphilis. Ultimately, the team claims that the findings that they obtained have made it more interesting for future studies about the virus since it would be a wakeup call for a significant number of health professionals, that in their quest to effectively treating and preventing HIV, it should not limit their efforts to control other sexually transmitted infections.