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Undetectable HIV transmission

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DRS:
I have recently been diagnosed as HIV positive about a month and a half ago. Since then it has been quite a learning experience and I have reached out to a couple of friends that are too HIV positive. Both of them say that they are undetectable  and that it doesn't matter if they don't use protection during intercourse because they can't infect someone since they have an undetectable status. I'm thinking "Bullshit!" Are they right? Or are they potentially, unknowingly infecting their sexual partners??

buginme2:
Being undetectable reduces the chances of transmission by greater than 97% (that's per a large Serodiscordant study between heterosexual couples).


Having another std can throw off the percentage a bit.

In general, being undetectable significantly reduces, if not eliminates, risk of transmission.  That's why there is a push for "treatment as prevention" a theory that if you treat everyone with HIV you would reduce/stop the spread of the disease.

Most people who spread hiv don't know they are infected and therefore have a sky high viral load.

curious1here:
I know 2 gay men who have been infected by undetectable loads  ( boyfriends told them the same thing) because they thought the same thing, they had been tested before.

Yes, it drastically  reduces chance of infection. Not all people living with HIV who take HIV treatment and have an undetectable viral load in the blood also have an undetectable viral load in their other bodily fluids. Research suggests that of those people living with HIV who have an undetectable blood viral load, 5 to 48% can have detectable virus in their semen, vaginal fluid and rectal fluid.

The vast majority of the couples enrolled in the studies were heterosexual and were (likely) having mostly vaginal sex. Therefore, it is unclear how much these findings apply to same-sex couples and other couples who mostly have anal sex. Some researchers think the risk of HIV transmission when undetectable may be higher for anal sex compared to vaginal sex.

Another problem with these studies is a high number of the couples were using condoms every time they had sex. So it's a minefield  when actually trying to calculate the risk percentage. It's agreed heterosexual intercourse is safer. Tho existing s.t.d's can throw it off.


I think you need to have a chat with your friends. Most people don't read the fine print of these studies and assume  that the same data applies to men who have sex with men. I know it suck's :(
 

mecch:

--- Quote from: DRS on November 02, 2013, 09:38:28 PM ---I have recently been diagnosed as HIV positive about a month and a half ago. Since then it has been quite a learning experience and I have reached out to a couple of friends that are too HIV positive. Both of them say that they are undetectable  and that it doesn't matter if they don't use protection during intercourse because they can't infect someone since they have an undetectable status. I'm thinking "Bullshit!" Are they right? Or are they potentially, unknowingly infecting their sexual partners??

--- End quote ---

Read what curious1here said very carefully.  Nobody hetero OR gay should be confirming that undetectable = no risk.  By the way, are they not disclosing, as well? 

There are serodiscordant couples who choose to have unprotected sex because the HIV+ person has steady reliable undetectable viral load...  Thats about as much as can be said at this point.  Not that it is risk free.  Just that the risk has been greatly lowered.

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