Is it safe to have sex with a person living with HIV?
When it comes to having sex with a person living with HIV, there are three sides to this coin looking at it from the perspective of human nature not to scare you but to enlighten you, YES, it is safe to have sex with a person living with HIV.
A person with HIV takes their Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) to reduce the chances of HIV transmission to sexual partners and to also maintain a healthy and strong immune system for themselves.
Once they attain an undetectability status, which takes about 6 months after ART initiation, the amount of HIV is so low in the bloodstream that it cannot be detected then they cannot transmit HIV to their partner as they are now considered to be virally suppressed.
Despite this it is also advised to use condoms should you not know one’s status having in mind that if two HIV positive people have unprotected sex there is risk of HIV superinfection where one can get another type or strain of the virus, the new strain can either replace the original strain or remain along with the original strain.
Superinfection may cause some people to get sicker faster because the new strain of the virus is resistant to the medicine. The upside of this is that If you and your partner have HIV and keep an undetectable viral load, you will not transmit HIV to each other through sex.
This post would not be complete till I mentioned the use of PrEP and PEP. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) a preventive drug that stops HIV from taking hold or spreading in your body. You take this treatment when you don’t have HIV but may be at a high risk of getting infected by your partner.
If you take PrEP as instructed every day, your risk for getting HIV will fall by 99%. But it takes at least 7 days for PrEP to start working. Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, is an emergency form of ART. You take it if you’ve recently had sex that might have exposed you to HIV.
You must take PEP as soon as possible, and no later than within 72 hours of having sex. Otherwise, the drugs won’t help.
And lastly It should also be noted that the responsibility of protection does not solely remain the duty of the HIV positive partner, it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that they are protected, with all the methods at our disposal and opt for one that suits them, cause in the end, sex is sweet when you know you are protected.