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What does undetectable mean?

You may have noticed the term ‘undetectable’ being used in some guys’ profiles on dating or meet-up apps or websites. But what does this mean?

Being undetectable.

What this refers to is someone’s HIV status – being positive, but undetectable.

Basically, this means that the person is HIV positive but they are on effective treatment which results in the levels of the virus in their blood being suppressed to undetectable levels, or what’s called having an ‘undetectable viral load’ (UVL) – that means not even the best medical equipment can detect the level of virus in their blood! Pretty impressive right?

So not only will HIV not be able to harm their immune system – it also means that this person cannot transmit the virus - even through condomless sex. Though of course it’s important to remember that condoms protect from much more than just HIV!

Yes. That means that although this person is HIV positive – there is a zero percent chance of them transmitting the virus, that’s right – 0%. A partner study confirmed this after discovering no cases of HIV transmission between HIV positive but undetectable partners and HIV negative partners – even after 58000 acts of condomless sex! That’s a lot!

This actually makes an undetectable viral load (UVL) more effective than a condom in protecting against HIV – because unfortunately condoms are not 100% effective. . Though condoms can protect against much more than just HIV so wearing condoms and getting tested regularly are still highly recommended.

This is just one way of many to prevent HIV, If you’d like to find out more about HIV prevention click here or visit what-works.org. If you want to know more about undetectable viral load (UVL) click here or visit The Institute of Many.