Undectable Viral Load and Unprotected Sex
Nov 17, 2003
I tested postive in 1987. I have always been asymptomatic and healthy. I currently take Combivir and Viramune. My viral load has always been undetectable. CD4 always 500-680. Before testing positive my lover and I at the time had unprotected sex for two years. He continued to test negative for a year afterwards. My question - have any studies been done regarding virus transmission from positive persons with undetectable viral loads? Are the risks lower for unprotected anal intercourse with pulling out before ejaculation? Signed ~ Kansas Prairie Man
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Kansas Prairie Man,
Here's what we know about HIV transmission. Receptive unprotected anal sex with an HIV-positive partner has the highest probability of HIV transmission per episode (estimated to be 0.1 3 percent). That said, studies have suggested the degree of risk is decreased if the viral load is undetectable. However, there are some studies that have shown the viral load in the ejaculate may not be the same as the viral load in the blood. Also, not ejaculating also decreases the risk to some degree. However, the key point here is that we are talking about levels of risk. Anal sex is risky, no matter what you do. The good news is that your lover has tested negative, despite some degree of exposure and risk. Bottom line -- protect him and his negative status by always using latex condoms, and consider PEP if there is a condom failure and significant exposure.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- Will Shingles Occur On Both Sides Of The Face?
- When You Get The Shingles Vaccine Can You Still Get An Outbreak?
- What Kind Of Antibiotics Can You Use To Treat Shingles?
- What Do Genital Warts Look Like In Early Stages?
- What Are All The Ways You Can Get Chlamydia?
- Syphilis And Rectal Bleeding
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.