Q and A

Question

If my viral load is undetectable, can I still transmit HIV?

I have been on ARVs for more than two years now and my viral load is undetectable, with a CD4 count of 900. Can I transmit HIV to my partner should I have unprotected sex?

Answer

Thanks for getting in touch.

Great question – and the answer is “no”.

Because your viral load is undetectable you cannot transmit HIV to sexual partners.

This is even if you do not use condoms.

So yes, if you want to stop using condoms, your partner will not be at any risk.

Please see here for more info:
http://i-base.info/u-equals-u/

14 comments

  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Sipho,

    Thanks. Side effects of Tribuss are mainly related to the efavirenz. This includes sleep disturbance.

    As you’ve just started HIV treatment (ART) can you manage with the sleepng pills until you have another test for viral load?

  2. Sipho

    Hey guys Sorry for Not replying Late Im on Tribuss and i asked my doctor about these sleepless night and she said i can still take my normal Sleeping Tablets but shouldnt overdo it …

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Sipho,

    I’m sorry to hear this. Is this a recent diagnosis?

    Please let us know what treatment you’re taking. And do you think the problems sleeping are a side effect of these meds?

  4. SIPHO

    My Viral Load was 4700 and Cd4 89 when started The treatment … its A month Now On the treatment and I cant sleep … pls Help

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Mbali,

    What HIV meds are you taking? Some ARVs stay in the system for longer than others and this can help stop drug resistance. So a three day break could have been okay. But it’s a good idea to let your doctor about missing meds so they can do more blood checks.

    Do you have access to your viral load results? It will show how well the meds are working and if you are undetectable. Having an undetectable viral load can protect your partner.

  6. Mbali

    Hi

    I I’ve been taking my meds from October last year and been taking them but forgot them when I was weekend away so it means for 3 days wasn’t able to take them n that was three weeks ago. now my worry is that I had unprotected sex day before yesterday and I’m scared that my partner might be infected, bt he’s circumsised…..

  7. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Sadiq,

    If your viral load is undetectable then you cannot transmit HIV to her. This means that your wife doesn’t need to use PrEP. Please see here: http://i-base.info/u-equals-u/

  8. sadiq

    my viral load is undetectable i know U …U but my wife will use prep

  9. Lisa Thorley

    Hi,

    Issues with weight loss when your HIV is under control need to be discussed with a doctor.

  10. Thuli

    Hi.
    I have been using Tribuss for 6 months now. I have lost weight from 61kg to 53.7kg. I recently done my test, my viral load is less than 20. The doctor says everything is fine, but I’m worried about my weight loss! Do I have anything to worry About? I’m eating okay.

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