Q and A

Question

My partner and I are both undetectable, can I be reinfected if we don’t use condoms?

Both my partner and I are positive. We’re both on medication and our viral loads are undetectable. Last week we had sex without a condom. I’m now worried I might be reinfected as we have different strains. I also think I had an STI. I took antibiotics for this.

Answer

Thanks for getting in touch.

Because you both undetectable viral load you cannot reinfect each other. This is because effective treatment stops transmission.

Many people like not having to use condoms now, even if only one partner is HIV positive. This has been highlighted by the U=U awarness campaign: Undetectable = Untransmittable.
https://i-base.info/u-equals-u

Also, if you have been together since before you started treatment, you will both have the same virus anyway, so reinfection would not make any difference.

The only chance where reinfection would be important would be if either you or your partners viral load ever rebounds. If you are both good at taking your meds, this is very unlikely to happen. If one of you regularly misses your meds, then resistance could develop. This drug resistance could be passed to the other partner.

Many people like not having to use condoms though

There’s info here about reinfection:
https://i-base.info/ttfa/section-2/7-reinfection-with-hiv/:

2 comments

  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Will,

    i-base aren’t really set up for this- if you’re looking to meet others who are positive, please see here: https://i-base.info/who-can-i-talk-to/
    Just to let you know, though it might be tough at the moment it does get a lot easier. As you’ll have been told by your consultant, HIV isn’t the health condition it used to be. HIV is now very easy to treat and like others we have normal lives.

  2. Will

    Hey I’m 30 yo gay male recently diagnosed live near Bristol would love to meet other people who feel isalated and alone with this. Not worried if your male female age or religion.would be nice to meet up for a coffe/pint when we’re bk to normal

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *