Newsfeed : Experts Say Positive People on Effective HIV Meds Are Not Sexually Infectious

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Newsfeed » January 2008

Most Popular Links
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

20 Years Ago In POZ

More News

Click here for more news

Have news about HIV? Send press releases, news tips and other announcements to


January 30, 2008

Experts Say Positive People on Effective HIV Meds Are Not Sexually Infectious

The Swiss Federal Commission for HIV/AIDS has issued the first-ever consensus statement saying that HIV-positive people who are effectively on antiretroviral therapy, and who do not have any other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), cannot transmit HIV during sex, reports (, 1/30).

The statement, issued by four Swiss HIV experts, is published in this week’s Bulletin of Swiss Medicine. According to the announcement, “an HIV-infected person on antiretroviral therapy with completely suppressed viraemia (“effective ART”) is not sexually infectious, i.e. cannot transmit HIV through sexual contact.”

The commission says that this statement is valid so long as the following criteria are met: the person adheres to antiretroviral therapy that is evaluated regularly by his or her physician; the person’s viral load has been suppressed (<40 copies/ml) for a minimum of six months; and the person does not have any other sexually transmitted infections.

The commission’s article in the Bulletin begins by stating that the commission “realizes that medical and biologic data available today do not permit proof that HIV infection during effective antiretroviral therapy is impossible, because the non-occurrence of an improbable event cannot be proven… The situation is analogous to 1986, when the statement ‘HIV cannot be transmitted by kissing’ was publicized. This statement has not been proven, but after 20 years’ experience its accuracy appears highly plausible.”

The commission says it “is not for the time being considering recommendations that HIV-positive individuals start treatment purely for preventative measures.” It also says that it is not advocating a change in current HIV prevention strategies in Switzerland. However, it does state that an HIV-positive person in a stable relationship with a person who does not have HIV, who adheres to their antiretroviral treatment and does not have an STI is “not putting their partner at risk of transmission by sexual contact.”

Click here to view an interview with one of the doctors.

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Hide comments

Previous Comments:

  comments 1 - 15 (of 66 total)     next > >>

Amber, , 2010-02-16 14:27:43
I have been married to an HIV+ man for 4 years. He is on sucessful therapy and has been undetectible for 7 years. We have 4 beautiful healthy kids and have sex regularly. I test every 3 months and am still negative.

angelino59, Rimini-Italy, 2008-12-25 14:41:42
yes, it is true. I have perform sex for 3 years for a woman HIV-. Me I am hiv+ in treatment antiretroviral. 8 years that my viral load is less than 40 copies. I conferm that girl every 6 months do a check healing blood!!!All is ok!!!

JD biochemist-microbiologist, MTL (Québec), , 2008-03-11 11:05:15
On CATIE(Canadian AIDS Treatment Information exchange)S.Hosein,assisted by 4doctors,wrote a most based on facts article reviewing the Swiss opinion.On Google type Swiss guidelines take a troubling turn.Then click the title at your right.Links to 5 official agencies are given(Canada,France,World Health Org,UNAIDS,CDC)all 5 reinforcing the known guidelines that are not changed.UNAIDS writes It has not been proven that undetectable blood HIV load completely eliminates the risk of HIV.

heather, Dallas, 2008-03-08 21:52:32
playing russian roulette is what got us to where we are in the world in the first place. i am married to a man and we are healthy. i went through a crazy time and i was glad to be blessed. but woman and men who knowly have sex with someone who is sick- even with a condom it can break. but to screw someone without one who is sick. i her its a painful death. how about not taking the risk. enough people are suffering. just try and be one less.

Aj, , 2008-03-07 01:39:25
So how did I get infected from a man who had been undetectable for months, was on meds, and with whom I was monogamous...

raymondhilerio, , 2008-03-04 18:00:50
I do not believe it.

JD biochemist-microbiologist, MTL, 2008-03-03 13:41:35
DrHirschel on net radios say things that are false like,he reports there's no risk of damage to have unprotected sex for HIVpartners it's NOT true both can get a mutant multidrug-resistant strain & loose cont.of HIV.The Swiss article contains errors, constantly say 1 thing then the opposite.In the cited spanish study the relations were2.7years long in average NOT 14 years!The vir.load is NOT considered stable after 6 months as they make believe.And undetectable is not zero,HIV is still there !

Lee in DC, , 2008-02-28 14:36:20
It's sad that in this brief news report, it fails to mention this story fails to say this test is male to female (as in vagina). So men4men, it's risky.

George Calleja, New York, 2008-02-27 11:34:29
I do believe that HIV+ people who are undetectable are definitely less infectious, than people untested or undenial. But when will the U.S. discrimination against HIV+ foreigners will finally end. HIV+ people should be treated like an exception to other chronic disease.

susie, co.bluffs, 2008-02-27 09:46:03
Why this may sound great.Who's to say you dont use protection with another and they havent told you they where hiv+ and they you go,getting reinfected.Im sorry but i would rather be SAFE than SORRY.

carl, omaha, 2008-02-27 00:53:08
this is really hard to believe. for the last ten years I have not had sex with my partner because we were told that we could infect those with whom we had sex with. I have been undectectable for the last nine years.damn! I could have been getting some.

Lee, New york, 2008-02-26 20:43:07
Positive woman and have been undetectable for years. But, of course this study is not about women as usual. I asked my doctor about this years ago and was told, "well they don't test vaginal secretions, it would be too expensive" Yep, got to love it, just like Heart disease is exploding in females because nothing is done about it. Nice to see a glimmer of hope but not holding my breath. One very healthy woman living a celibate lifestyle...Peace everyone......

Patrick, Austin, Texas, 2008-02-26 14:09:03
I have been poz for 25 years, seen undetectable viral loads many times, also seen high spikes in viral loads when the meds quit working and didn't findout until a lab. I would not take the chance of having unprotected anal sex just because, you never known when your cocktail stops working.

Gerald, , 2008-02-23 08:55:10
I have only been poz for 1 year this coming march. I spoke to my ID doc about this and he concurs not thru research but as he put it common sense. if you vl is undetectable in the blood then semanal fluid would have less copies than even blood. there is still a chance that you could infect someone during unprotected sex but the chances as he put it would be astronomical.

Scorp, Suffolk, 2008-02-19 10:36:28
19 years of HIV/AIDS here - If your not contagious why if you stop medication does the virus immediately GO TO TOWN! Viral suppresion can wander above undetectable due to stress/illness/fatigue/ ect... it waivers not much in my case and not often but it has done so and there were no signs outwardly as does a T cell count! I know it waivers and I adhere to medications like they were sunshine in a bottle!

comments 1 - 15 (of 66 total)     next > >>

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.