Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) who take HIV medication as prescribed can achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load and therefore cannot sexually transmit the virus to an HIV-negative partner.
Between 2007 and 2016 three large studies were undertaken to examine the sexual transmission of HIV from an HIV positive partner to their HIV negative partner. In those studies, there was not a single case of sexual transmission of HIV from a virally suppressed person living with HIV.
In addition to enabling people living with HIV to stay healthy and have a lifespan similar to people who are HIV negative, antiretroviral medicines now provide an opportunity for people living with HIV who have an undetectable viral load to have sex without a condom with effectively no risk of passing HIV on to their partner.
The primary purpose of antiretroviral therapy is to keep people living with HIV in good health to regain their quality of life and enjoy a future with hope. For most people living with HIV, antiretroviral medicines can reduce the amount of HIV in the blood to levels that are undetectable by standard laboratory tests. With the right choice of antiretroviral medicines, viral levels will decline over time to undetectable levels and allow the immune system to begin to recover.
To maintain an undetectable viral load, it is very important for a person living with HIV to stay on treatment and consult with their health-care providers to monitor the success of a treatment regimen.