Q and A

Question

I’m undetectable, can i transmit HIV to my boyfriend?

I’m 23 years old and i’m positive, i have had an undetectable viral load for 1 year. I know it doesn’t mean that i’m HIV negative and there’s still risk but i have a boyfriend with whom we have been having unprotected sex. We’re both sure that we haven’t had unprotected sex with someone else. My question is, if i transmitted HIV to my boyfriend, can he re-infect me with the same virus that i had already transmitted?

Answer

Hi,

The second part of your question about your boyfriend becoming positive is not going to happen. The rise of transmitting HIV to someone if you have an undetectable viral load is extremely low – close to zero.

We know this because of a study called PARTNER. It looked at couples like your having unprotected sex with one negative and one positive partner. The positive partner was on treatment with an undetectable viral load. Couples on the study had sex without condoms over 44,500 times. There was not transmission.

On rare occasions couples were both partners are positive can ‘reinfect’ each other. This is unlikely though and only dangerous if one partner¬†have drug resistances that the other doesn’t.

You can find more information about the PARTNER study on our website.