Great News! When people living with HIV take their meds as prescribed, they keep the amount of HIV in their body so low that it can’t be passed on to others through sex.
That’s right: Zero risk of passing HIV to others. This has been scientifically proven over the past several years.
Everyone has a role in ending the HIV epidemic.
If you’re living with HIV, the best thing you can do is take your meds and stay in care. Taking your meds consistently makes the amount of HIV in your body very low—so low that it’s difficult to measure.
With so little HIV in your body, you prevent others from getting HIV. Taking as little as one pill a day will have a huge impact.
If we can get 90% of people with HIV to take their meds and stay in care, we can end the HIV epidemic by 2030!
You should start treatment as soon as possible after learning you have HIV. Your goal is to decrease the amount of HIV in your body to very low levels - so low that it’s difficult for lab tests to measure.
It takes commitment to do this. You need to take your meds on time, every time, every day.
You’ll need to take your meds for six months or longer to lower the amount of HIV in your body. Once your doctor completes lab tests and confirms your low levels of HIV, you can be confident you won’t pass HIV to others.
Remember: You’ll still have HIV. You’ll need to keep taking your meds and seeing your doctor regularly to make sure the amount of HIV in your body remains low. But you won’t have to worry about putting your sexual partners at risk for getting HIV.
This is a new, simple way to describe the results of taking your meds daily to keep the amount of HIV in your body low.
- UNDETECTABLE: Your lab results show very little HIV present in your body for six months or longer.
- UNTRANSMITTABLE: You have zero risk of passing HIV on to others through sex or other ways.
What is effective HIV treatment?
When someone is on effective HIV treatment, it means they are taking their meds every day as prescribed and visiting their doctor regularly. Taking your meds decreases the amount of HIV in your body to very low levels—so low that it’s difficult for lab tests to measure.
How long will it take to reduce the amount of HIV in my body?
You’ll need to take your meds for six months or longer before the amount of HIV in your body gets low enough to not pass HIV to others when having sex.
The amount of time will be different for each person. Then, you need to keep taking your meds daily to keep your HIV at low levels.
If my labs results can’t measure any HIV in my body, does it mean I’m cured?
NO! There is no cure for HIV. Even though your lab results show little or no HIV in your body, it’s still there. The amount is just very, very low and hard to find.
This means you’re taking your meds and they are working. Keep it up!
If the amount of HIV in my body is low, can I pass HIV to others?
If you take your HIV meds daily and the amount of HIV in your body is consistently very low (also called “undetectable”), you cannot pass HIV through sex.
Does everyone who takes HIV meds become “undetectable?”
Most people who take their meds daily are able to decrease the amount of HIV in their body to very low levels within six months. About one out of every six people will need more time.
A small amount of people won’t ever be able to lower the amount of HIV in their body. This can be due to other health issues, how often they take their meds, or other reasons.
It’s OK if a person can’t lower their HIV. They should keep taking their meds as prescribed and take other steps to protect their sexual partners from getting HIV.
What will happen if I stop taking my HIV meds?
If you stop taking your meds, or don’t take them daily as prescribed, the amount of HIV in your body will increase. This can affect your overall health and will make it possible for you to pass HIV on to a sexual partner.
Do HIV meds protect me from other sexually transmitted diseases?
HIV meds DO NOT stop other STDs from being shared among partners. If you are sexually active, you should be tested for STDs at least once a year.
Have more questions?
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