Q and A


Both my partner and I are positive, though he’s not on meds, do we need condoms?

I’m HIV positive and on treatment and my partner is positive but not on treatment. I want to know how will it affect us, because we don’t use condoms.


Thanks for getting in touch.

If you and your partner both have the same strain of HIV  then reinfection is not a problem. This is even if he’s not on medication. Therefore its OK not to use condoms.

Reinfection is discussed in detail here it can be an  issue if there is drug resistance.

Is your partner planning to start ART in the future? Are there reasons why they are now using ART now?


  1. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Dimakatso, yes. You absolutely can have an HIV negative child. Taking your HIV medication throughout the pregnancy will help reduce the risk of transmission. After birth there is medication that your child can take that can further reduce your risk of transmission. It is very likely that if you stick to your medication, your child will be HIV negative.

  2. Dimakatso

    Can i have a negative child when i am talking Arv very well or the child will also be affected but her mother is hiv negative?

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Emily,

    Thanks for this question. It has been asked before. And Simon has given a full answer on this Q&A Am I at risk from resistance if my partner is not yet on meds?.

    I do hope this helps.

  4. Emily

    My partner and I are both HIV positive. I am on ARV and undetectable and he’s not on ARV. Will i be re infected or not if not using condoms?

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Sinempilo,

    Please can you be clearer about your question? If you are asking, do you need condoms, it’s a decision you can make. Buhle’s answer was that reinfection was not common.

    But condoms can still protect against other STIs. And they can be an effective form of contraception too

  6. Sinempilo

    I have the same problem like Buhle..am on ARV my partner is not bt we both hiv positive.and he has 2-more girlfriends

  7. Lineo

    My partner and I are both HIV positive but my partner doesn’t want to take medication, am I supposed to use condom during our sexual intercourse

  8. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Lineo,

    As Lisa says above, if you both have the same strain of HIV there’s no problem of re-infection for you.

    But what are the reasons for your partner’s decision not to take medication?

  9. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Buhle,

    Reinfection isn’t something that’s common. Please see here: http://i-base.info/qa/7051

  10. Buhle

    Hi, my partner and I are both hiv positive. he tested positive in 2014 and i tested positive in 2016 before we met . So when we initially met we were both hiv positive already. So we’ve be together for 2years now and we’ve never used protection, not even once since we both have the virus already. But now I recently started taking arv’s and he doesn’t (he refused to take treatment) . So I’m curious to know if it’s safe for me to continue having unprotected sex with him since I’m on arv’s and he’s not. Is the any risk or possibility of reinfection for me if we continue having unprotected sex? or can this affect me in anyway if we continue without protection?


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