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Viral Load and transmission

Apr 10, 2000

I am HIV negative. My partner is HIV positive. We practice safer sex and try to reduce risk factors. Is my partner, who is HIV positive with a near undetectable viral load, is communicable than with a partner who is HIV positive and not receiving treatment with a high viral load? My partner and I will still maintain all safe sex guidelines, but we would like to know.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

There appears to be much less risk of transmission when people have an undetectable plasma viral load. That does not mean zero risk though. In blood and secretions, there are still infected cells that are capable of transmitting infectious HIV, even though plasma virus is undetectable.


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