Chances are you’ve probably heard of the term “undetectable”, “undetectable viral load” or “UVL” when chatting to friends or potential sexual partners, on apps or social media, or in blogs, magazines and medical journals.
But, what does it mean?
Well, when a HIV positive guy is on treatment, within six months he can, in most cases, achieve an undetectable viral load (UVL). Having a UVL means two important things: he can be sure he won’t transmit HIV to his partners and it improves overall health.
No risk, really?
So is it true that if a HIV positive partner is on treatment and has a UVL sustained (6 months or more), then there is no risk of HIV transmission?
In 2016, the PARTNER study from Europe found that the chance of HIV transmission where one partner had a UVL is negligible. In fact, there were zero transmissions recorded in the study despite approximately 58,000 acts of condomless sex.
In New South Wales, the Opposites Attract study, which focused solely on gay and other men who have sex men, confirmed that HIV positive men who are on treatment and have an undetectable viral load do not transmit the virus to their partners.
Live well with UVL
Aside from the assurance that HIV can’t be transmitted by being undetectable, there are important health advantages for the poz guy.
A UVL allows the immune system to operate to its optimum, not only improving overall well-being but also preventing acute and other serious illnesses.
That’s good news for all
Undetectable viral load is game-changing news for both poz and neg guys. If you’re poz, undetectable comes with amazing health benefits as well as the assurance that you are keeping the guys you play with safe.
And if you’re neg, having sex with a poz guy who’s undetectable can give you the confidence that you won’t get HIV. UVL puts safety first for everyone.