Can you pass on your HIV if you have an undetectable viral load?

The chance that you will pass on your HIV when you have sexual contact is extremely slight if your viral load has been undetectable for at least half a year, as long as you comply with your therapy and as long as you have no other sexually transmitted infection (STI). This is often referred to as the ‘Swiss stance’ because Swiss researchers were the first to formulate the insight. Preventing the transmission of HIV can be a good reason to start with the HIV treatment, even if your immunity is otherwise still in good shape.

Taking other risks into consideration
Many men choose to have unprotected sex if both partners have HIV and each one has an undetectable viral load. When we discuss that, I notice fairly often that they have not always considered the risk they run of getting hepatitis C and other STIs.
Loek Elsenburg, HIV nurse

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Viral load and risk

What if you do have another STI?
Having another STI could possibly increase your chances of passing your HIV on to someone else. Since you don’t always notice STIs, you could possibly have one without knowing it. If you have an STI, the amount of HIV in your sperm or vaginal fluid can be greater than normal.

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Contact

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1054 CX AMSTERDAM

020 6 160 160

servicepunt@hivnet.org
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Servicepunt

020 689 25 77
servicepunt@hivnet.org


For questions about living with HIV. Available monday, tuesday and thursday from 2 PM till 10 PM

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