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Undetectable HIV?


If someone says they are hiv positive but its undetectable.. Can it be transferred to other people at that stage? i dont really know anything about it.. any insight would help. Also... can it turn into just Hiv positive? Can someone please just give me information.

It actually didnt happen to me. I know someone who is hiv positive but says its undetectable. and a friend of mine is sleeping with him and im not sure if she knows...

THat is utterly a joke.
After infection, HIV virus presence, either by detection of the viral RNA or the ELISA test, that detects the presence of reverse transcriptase (induced by the virus in the nuclei of the infected cells in the host), the test would be positive.
As a matter of fact, when we find a POSITIVE Enzyme Linked Immuno Absorbancy test, we do repeat the test at once, and if still positive, we do reconfirm the presence of the RNA from the HIV virus, by means of the western blot test....
As you can see, not even heavy loads of antiretrovirals such as azidovudine, lamivudine, or inhibitors of the protein synthesis of the virus, such as ritonavir, saquinavir, etc, are capable of reversing the lab, results...
Its a fallacy.,
The treatment DOES NOT change positive tests, .....
There must be some kind of misunderstanding, or perhaps YOU were taken for a ride (as you say in America), or the person who told you that, is "kind of pulling your leg"!
I am sorry to say, but there is not such a thing as "undetectable" HIV

Undetectable doesn't mean unable to be transmitted. Undetectable refers to the viral load, and can happen if the HIV positive person is taking aggressive antiretroviral therapy.

Here is the deal with "undetectable".

When an HIV+ person begins using antiretroviral therapy the meds reduce the amount of virus in the blood stream to less than 50 copies of HIV per teaspoon of blood. That is the lower limit of our viral load tests. So, when a POZ person says that they are "undetectable" they are saying that their treatment is working and that there is less than 50 copies of virus. (Viral load can theoretically be extraordinarily high, so less than 50 is excellent). Undetectable is actually one of the main goals of treatment (improved CD4 cell count is the other main goal)

Now, how does being undetectable affect someone's ability to transmit the virus? Scientists and researchers are still examining the issue, but this is what we know as of today:

Several studies have shown that suppresion of HIV (undetectable viral load) with ARVs often does not reach undetectable in the semen or vaginal secretions. This is considerable since the lower limit of testing HIV in genital secretions is 1000 copies/ml not 50/ml as in the blood. Therefore undetectable viral load should not be equated with an undetectable viral load in the semen.

For those on an optimized ARV regimen, HIV is detected in the semen 10-40% of the time (means a reading of over 1000 copies / ml).

Sexually transmitted infections can actually increase the viral loads in the semen and vaginal fluids with no rise in the blood viral load (treatment of STI results in a reduction) just as a cold or flu can result in an increase in blood viral load.

And, the male genital tract constitutes a relatively distinct compartment of HIV replication. Not all meds penetrate the genital tissues as effectively as others and therefore fully suppress the HIV in the genital tract. It is not uncommon to find resistant strains of HIV in genital secretions that are not found in the blood.


All of this being said. You can definitely say that the lower a person's viral load the less likely they are to transmit the virus. Those with undetectable viral loads are much less likely to transmit than someone with a viral load of say 100 000. But the idea that undetectable means he can't transmit the virus. That's just not supported by the vast amount of evidence.
Undetectable virus plus consistent proper condom use means transmission is very unlikely. But condoms should always be a part of the equation.

The doctor who answered before me is probably aware of all of this he just misunderstood our use of the word undetectable.

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