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UNDETECTABLE VIRAL LOAD [+U]

An undetectable viral load is when the amount of HIV in a person’s blood (viral load) is no longer able to be detected by a standard viral load test for HIV. 

When a person is able to reach and maintain an undetectable viral load the risk of transmitting HIV to a sexual partner is negligible. Negligible is defined as "so small or unimportant as to be not worth considering; insignificant."  

Research of gay and bisexual men who are living with HIV and have an undetectable viral load, and their HIV-negative partners in the Opposites Attract Study reported no cases of HIV transmission in over 17,000 reported acts of anal intercourse without a condom.

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On top of this, top line results of the PARTNER trial showed zero HIV transmissions in 22,000 occasions of sex between gay male couples where the HIV infected partner had an undetectable viral load.

While having an undetectable viral load reduces the risk of HIV transmission to a negligible level, it will not protect from acquisition or transmission of other STIs like syphilis or gonorrhoea. Because of this, it's a good idea to keep condoms in the mix with casual partners and to have a regular sexual health check-up.

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