If I have HIV, can I still have sex?

Yes, you can, and you can have it safely without worrying about passing HIV to your partner. There are a few ways you can do this.

One way is to ensure that you use condoms correctly every time you have sex. When used correctly and consistently, condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV transmission.

Another way is for the partner without HIV to go on PrEP, a daily pill that is also highly effective at preventing HIV. PrEP doesn’t prevent other STIs, but when used correctly and consistently, it gives you about the same level of protection as condoms.

Lastly, taking your meds every day if you have HIV is another way to prevent passing it to someone else. If you do that, you should quickly reach ‘viral suppression’, which means the HIV in your body is under control so much that it cannot even be detected and cannot be passed on.

Another way of saying this is U=U, or “undetectable = untransmittable”. U=U means that someone with HIV who achieves and maintains an undetectable viral load (the amount of HIV in the blood) by always taking their meds cannot pass HIV to anyone else.

If you and a partner do decide to have sex, it’s best to talk it through together so that they can educate themselves if needed and make an informed decision about how to stay safe. 

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