Q and A

Question

Is U=U really true?

Hi,

I see lots of info on U=U, but is it really true?

If my viral load is undetectable is my partner really protected?

thanks

Answer

Hi

Thanks, this is an increasingly important question, as more people become aware of this aspect of HIV treatment (ART).

U=U stands for Undetectable = Untransmittable (or Uninfectious).

ART is not only good for your health, but once viral load has been undetectable for a few months, HIV is not transmittable – even without using condoms.

This link has more info on U=U.

This link answers questions about U=U. For example on how and why U=U works, the importance of adherence etc.

6 comments

  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Maru,

    The good news is that if your viral load is detected at 40 copies, it means you’re undetectable. And so you cannot transmit HIV, even if you don’t use condoms. Any viral load result below 50 copies means HIV is undetectable.

    Please see U=U for lots more info.

  2. maru

    my viral load is less than 40 but the result is detected is it possible to transmit HIV even i have less than 40 copies of viral load

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Angel,

    Being undetectable refers to blood as well as semen, therefore there’s no risk.

  4. Angel

    Hello everyone,

    I am currently undetectable and want to bring up the possibility of not using condoms during anal intercourse with my partner. I am worried that (sometimes I bleed from irritation) as the HIV+ bottom, blood from my rectum will infect him. Even if I am undetectable, is there still a risk for transmitting the virus?

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Kwajo,

    Starting HIV treatment usually means there’s a dramatic drop in viral load in the first week or so. But then the drop is slower until you get to under 50 copies/mL, which is undetectable. 92 copies is not far above undetectable. It might just take another month or two. So it looks like your treatment is working. Many people on HIV treatment now have a life expectancy similar to someone who is HIV negative.

    But it’s wrong to sack you because of your diagnosis. What country do you live in? There could be an organisation there that can help with this.

  6. kwajo

    I have hiv and hbv. my first vL was 14000cp/ml
    I was practicing as a nurse when I got a prick from a patient . I have been sacked from work because of my diagnosis . just last month I had my viral load test and it was 92cp/ml. I have been on treatment for 3months. I’m really sad and depressed. I’m single; no child. I’m just worried. my life expectancy?

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