Q and A

Question

I’m undetectable, can I transmit HIV to my partner?

I’m positive and undetectable. My girlfriend is negative, can I transmit HIV to her?

Answer

Thanks for getting in touch.

When a person has an undetectable viral load, they cannot transmit HIV through sexual intercourse when not using a condom. There’s more about this here:

http://i-base.info/htb/32308

27 comments

  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Nomsebenzi,

    I’m sorry that you’re afraid to go and test. But talking to the doctor and finding out more about HIV treatment (ART) might be a good idea. You can ask them about HIV testing for your baby too.

    If you still test negative that’s great. But it’s also good to find out if you’re positive because you can think about starting ART that can keep you healthy.

    Has your partner started ART yet?

  2. nomsebenzi

    My partner just tested positive with HIV and I recently had a baby I did the test before I had a baby and everything was fine,this was 6 months ago does this mean I’m positive now as well . I’m afraid to even go and test . I just stop the breast feeding because of that .

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Nomsebenzi,

    I’m so sorry that you’ve had to ask this question. But if you have been raped you need support and help.

    In South Africa the Treatment Action Campaign have been calling for access to HIV treatment for many years.

    They have a contacts page so perhaps you could email or call them and explain that you need support and advice. You can tell them what has happened.

    Starting drugs to stop HIV – called PEP – should begin as soon as possible after exposure to HIV. And usually within 48 hours. There’s more info about PEP at this link.

  4. nomsebenzi

    after how long after exposure can you prevent HIV transmission in rape victims

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Nomfah,

    Do you mean you had sex with someone who has HIV and has an undetectable viral load? If they are on HIV treatment (called ART) the amount of HIV in a viral load blood test can come back as undetectable.

    And being undetectable means that HIV cannot be transmitted even if you don’t use condoms.

    There’s much more info at this link.

  6. Nomfah

    I had sex with affected n I don’t understand what is undetectable?

  7. Lisa Thorley

    Hi John.

    If your viral load is undetectable, there isn’t any risk. Please see here: http://i-base.info/u-equals-u/

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