That's why we use the phrase effective treatment to mean that someone had been taking their treatment as prescribed for at least six months and has an undetectable viral load.
If you have a detectable viral load, have unprotected sex and don’t tell your partner they may be angry that they weren’t told sooner.
Remember, sex without a condom can also lead to an unplanned pregnancy if other contraception is not being used.
If you have a detectable viral load, the highest HIV risk is if your partner takes the receptive role in anal sex. If you have a detectable viral load, vaginal sex without a condom is also high risk but less so than anal sex.
However, before deciding to stop using condoms, it’s a good idea to speak to your HIV doctor or nurse to make sure your viral load is undetectable.
It’s also important to remember that if you have sex without a condom other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be passed on.
Again, during the everyday activities that are considered ‘risky’, the person with HIV cannot pass on the virus if their viral load is undetectable.
Finding out that you have HIV may affect your current and future relationships, but it doesn’t have to mean an end to relationships with HIV negative partners.
Relationships where one person is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative are sometimes called ‘serodiscordant’.
The aim of HIV treatment is to reduce your viral load to undetectable levels.
This means that you still have HIV, but that it’s below levels laboratory equipment can detect it at, and that you cannot pass it on.
You may find it difficult to tell a partner that you have HIV, but not telling a partner may lead to problems later.