Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors




I wanted to know if a person infected with HIV is on treatment and its determined as undetectable and they had anal sex with another male unprotected, is there a chance that HIV can still be spread and if so what are the chances?


This is the a good question. I can tell you that there is absolutely a risk of transmission of the HIV virus whenever there is unprotected sex between an infected person and an uninfected person. So it is important to speak with an infectious disease physician. It is true that today's therapies for HIV are very good and will often reduce the amount of virus in the blood to an undetectable level. However, that does not mean that the virus is completely gone from the blood. It just means that the virus is no longer detectable by the measurements that we have. Thus there is still a possibility of transmission between two people. I will admit that there is a lesser chance of transmission between an infected person and an uninfected person if the infected person is on good antiretrovirals therapy and their HIV viral load is determined to be undetectable by today's methods. However, this should not preclude a couple from using protection when they engage in anal sex. I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with an infectious disease physician if you have been infected with HIV. The treatments for HIV today are very good and can often allow the infected person to live a full life without or with minimal risk of developing AIDS.

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