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Fact Sheet: Undetectable Viral Load

By Emily Claymore

November 4, 2013

Fact Sheet; Undetectable Viral Load

The term "undetectable viral load" pops up everywhere from lab reports and medical journals to social media and dating apps.

Here are some key terms and concepts to help HIV-positive and HIV-negative folks understand and explore what "undetectable" means.


Key Terms


Being Undetectable: Good News

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A Few Words of Caution

While suppressing the virus to undetectable levels has clear benefits for both HIV-positive and HIV-negative people, treatment as prevention is just one strategy for preventing new HIV infections. Other essential tools for HIV prevention include condoms and lube, sterile syringes for people who inject drugs or hormones, PrEP for HIV-negative individuals, regular HIV testing, self-education about HIV and sexual health, and open communication with sex partners.

Emily Claymore is a Masters in Public Health student at the University of California, Berkeley, and is currently an intern with San Francisco AIDS Foundation.




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