Q and A


Panic over HIV with zero risk, wrong use of PEP, offensive responses…

Hello last month i had sex with a person who is HIV positive and the condom burst and in the morning she said that she is HIV positive and she said she’s on treatment and her viral load is undetectable.

I didn’t believe her and we went to her doctor and he confirmed it and he sent her an email containing her CD4 and viral load and her viral load was written like this less than 30 and at the end written lower than detectable.

I still took PEP after 12 hours and i finished the 28th day today so what are the chances i could catch the virus. I’m too worried and scared to go test, wow! I’m so nervous and learned my lesson.


We get a lot of insentive questions and this is not the worst, but it is pretty bad.

  • They include examples of adults deciding to have sex who don’t talk about HIV before but then panic afterwards.
  • Sometimes, always men, physically make their partner take an HIV test. No-one has the right to make anyone take an HIV test.
  • If their partner is HIV positive and undetectable, they do not believe them.

This person probably has no idea of how offensive this is including how they treated thier partner.

Instead of taking time to learn about HIV, it just shows stigma and discrimination.

This link is a good start for more up-to-date info:

U=U: why an undetectable viral load means there is zero risk

This person is so worried about themselves that they show no awareness of the feelings of the person who was unlucky enough to have met them.

To the person who asked this Q, I hope you apologise to this woman for your behaviour.

Your doctor was also wrong, unless they were prescribing PEP for psychological reasons. In the UK PEP is only prescribed after an actual risk.

i-Base doesn’t answer personal questions about HIV risk and testing. Please see this link for resources that answer all these questions.


  1. Anonymous

    Hi Simon,

    While most (including myself) would agree on your reply, please don’t minimise the recent report on poor knowledge among London health professionals (arguably among the best in the world)


    I have similar experience in a neighbouring country. Hence, we probably need to align expectations while still fighting stigma (without harsh language :)

    Thank you and to all in your team.

  2. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Tman,

    Being supportive is important, as this is how it should be. However, being educated about HIV and not panicking is also really important especially as this service is mainly for positive people.

  3. Tman

    No it’s not like that. I didn’t go into detail. I told her i want us to take a self test and she said she is waiting for her blood results from her doctor and i can go with her and i did go with her because i wanted to be sure. I’m not the one who suggested it. And this person I’ve been supportive to her from that day. I never judged her or anything. And thanks for the info. All i wanted to know was the chances of infection if I’ve finished pep plus her viral load being lower than detectable limit.


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