If I have unprotected sex with other HIV positive people will I get resistance?
I’m a HIV positive gay male aged 27, infected and diagnosed three years ago. I am currently healthy with a CD4 count of 560 and a viral load of 35,000 and not yet on any medication.
I’ve been scared to sleep with other positive men through fear of catching treatment resistant strains or worse. I am a passive partner and I’m afraid my question does relate to unprotected sex. I am aware of the risks associated therein, afterall it got me in this situation!
I would like to know if I were to sleep with a HIV positive guy, is it better for me if he is on meds and undetectable or would that put me more at risk of developing resistance?
Now I can ‘sero-sort’ I’d like to know what’s likely to be the safest way to prevent my situation getting any worse, be it developing drug resistance, superinfection or other hard to treat infections?
I am also immunised against hepatitis B. Am I truly safe against this if I were to unknowingly come into contact with it?
Thank you for your question.
Having an undetectable viral load on treatment will be better both for you and your partner.
This is because the meds also stop HIV from being transmitted. Even if your partner has drug resistance, and undetectable viral load means HIV won’t be transmitted.
Even though your CD4 count is still strong above 500, treatment guidelines still recommend treatment (ART) for your own health too.
The HBV vaccine is also very effective. Your doctor will check you have a good immune response after your vaccination. This protectional usually lasts for at least five years but your doctor can also check this in can you need a booster in the future.
For any further information or if you need any support then please do not hesitate to contact us on the treatment information helpline (Mon-Wed 12-4pm)
The information in this answer was updated in January 2017 from a post in May 2010. Please see: Question 9 at this link for more information.