Oh Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first confirmed case of HIV transmitted between female partners. Federal officials stated that this is a rare occurrence but have now advised lesbian couples to take precautionary measures.
Though other cases have been reported where women thought they infected a female partner, the New York Times reports no clear evidence was given or collected to make it official. The report states that in some cases, no genetic testing was done, or other occurrences could have lead to one of the women coming into contact with the virus elsewhere, such as sex with men or intravenous drug use.
In this case, the genetic test showed the HIV virus was 98 percent identical in the two partners. The two women were in their 40s and lived in Houston, Texas in 2012, when the transmission took place. The partner with HIV was previously being treated for the virus, but had stopped treatment. The women reported they had sex while on their periods and used sex toys, and at times bleeding occurred.
The CDC suggests that those with the virus remain on their antiretroviral drugs as it reduces virus levels in the blood to a level that makes it highly unlikely to pass to a partner who is uninfected.