Can You Get HIV From Someone Who Is HIV Undetectable?
Can you get HIV from someone who is HIV undetectable? HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a type of infection that weakens and damages the immune system. HIV-positive people are at risk of developing other conditions and diseases due to the damage to the body’s immunity. There is no established cure for the infection; however, treatments are available in the form of antiretroviral drugs.
What is the role of antiviral drugs in HIV treatment? First, these drugs prevent HIV from replicating. Second, they reduce the amount of virus down to an undetectable viral load. An HIV undetectable status is feasible in 6 months or less if people with the infection take daily antiretroviral drugs.
What is HIV undetectable? What does it mean to have this status?
An HIV undetectable refers to a person’s status in which the amount of HIV in their blood is no longer detectable. The CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention affirms that an individual with lesser than 200 particles of HIV per milliliter of blood is undetectable. Note that HIV blood tests can detect the presence of HIV in blood if the viral load is above 200 particles.
This undetectable status is a result of regular treatment with antiretroviral drugs. Besides preventing the spread of the virus to other people by sexual contact or injection use, these drugs lessen the amount of virus in the body. Antiretroviral drugs function by boosting the immune system’s capacity to produce more CD4 cells (T cells) enough to fight off HIV.
Although it is impossible to remove it from the body altogether because of the absence of a cure, reducing its viral load to undetectable levels is possible. Those who experience health conditions related to HIV infection will start recovering should they reach an undetectable status. Additionally, their immune system becomes energized and robust enough to defend the body from foreign illnesses.
Can you catch HIV from undetectable?
U=U. This slogan best describes people who have achieved an undetectable viral load. It simply means – undetectable equals untransmittable.
While HIV acquisition is deemed harmful, what could happen if someone reaches an undetectable status? Well, the answer is NO.
People with undetectable viral loads have no risk of spreading the infection to others. NIAID, better known as the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) reported this conclusion after three major studies involving people with undetectable status and without HIV. These studies include couples who engage in sexual contact without using condoms. Reports say that were zero cases of HIV transmission following these studies.
Although people with undetectable viral load cannot pass the infection to others, it is essential to maintain their untransmittable status. Why? If they stop taking ARV drugs, there is a big chance that their viral load can go up again and cause the virus to spread to their sexual partner. Since HIV is a long-term infection, taking daily antiretroviral drugs is necessary. Additionally, the use of condoms during sexual encounters is still required. Despite having an undetectable viral load, condoms can protect you from other sexually transmitted diseases.
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