HIV-positive and no longer infectious? : Swiss AIDS Federation

HIV-positive and no longer infectious?

People with HIV are no longer infectious if they follow their therapy as prescribed, and their viral load is below the detectable threshold. This means that they can have unprotected sex, without worrying that they will infect their partner.

It has long been common knowledge that condoms protect against the transmission of HIV. But for several years now, there has also been another means of protection: HIV drugs. Scientists were already aware of the protective effect of these drugs in preventing mother-to-child transmission. Studies have now also been able to prove that consistent treatment with HIV drugs reduces the level of the virus in the body so much that it can no longer be transmitted through sex. In 2008, Swiss experts found that "with effective antiretroviral therapy, individuals infected with HIV who do not have any other sexually transmitted diseases are not sexually infectious". More recent studies have shown that, when a person's HIV therapy is working well, other STDs do not affect the risk of transmission.

Three conditions must be met for someone to cease being infectious:

  • HIV drugs must be taken regularly.
  • Blood levels must be checked regularly by a doctor.
  • The virus must no longer be detectable in the blood.

When these conditions are met, there is no need to use a condom. HIV drugs do not protect against infection with other sexually transmitted diseases, however.

" HIV-infizierte Menschen ohne andere STD sind unter wirksamer antiretroviraler Therapie sexuell nicht infektiös " ("People with HIV who have no other STDs are no longer sexually infectious if antiretroviral therapy is effective"), Federal Commission for AIDS-related Issues, 2008

HIV is not transmitted under fully suppressive therapy: The Swiss Statement–eight years later
(Pietro L. Vernazza , Edwin J. Bernard, 2016)

For more information: Therapy as protection

Data protection, cookies and privacy

This website complies with Swiss data protection legislation. More information in our "Privacy Statement".

Data protection, cookies and privacy

This website complies with Swiss data protection legislation. Your privacy is important to us and we process your data in accordance with these regulations. You will find further information in our "Privacy Statement". By using our website, you consent to the processing of your data in accordance with these regulations.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies are essential for the proper functioning of our website. They enable you to navigate our website, access secure areas and use basic functions. Without these cookies, our website cannot function properly. They do not store any personally identifiable information and are usually defined as a response to your actions, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling out forms. You can set your browser to block these cookies, but some parts of our website may not work properly if you do.

Analytics cookies

Analytics cookies help us improve our website by collecting information about how it is used. They help us understand how visitors interact with our website, which pages are most popular and how they get to our website. This information is collected anonymously and in aggregate form, which means that it does not contain any personally identifiable information. We use this information to continually improve our website, its content and the user experience. If you prefer not to allow these cookies, you can disable them, but this may affect the quality of your experience on our website.

Integrated content

We use third-party services to provide features and display useful content on our website. For example, for integrated videos, we use YouTube, which sets cookies to analyse video traffic and improve your user experience. You can accept or reject these cookies.

Your cookie preferences have been saved.