Treatment as prevention
Knowing what ‘Treatment as Prevention’ (TasP) is and means is important for a number of reasons.
HIV anti-retroviral treatments (ART) or HIV-meds are so effective today that for most HIV positive people taking the medications every day, the virus becomes ‘undetectable’ for current blood tests to measure. This is good for two reason: it means that the HIV is not doing (much) damage to the person’s immune system; and it also means that the chance of passing on HIV to sexual partners is virtually eliminated. (Some guys who have an undetectable viral load use the symbol [+u] on hook up apps to signal that they are HIV positive and undetectable).
It is recommended that HIV positive guys get their viral load tested every three to twelve months, depending how long they have been taking HIV treatment.
TasP is amazing news for everyone. For positive people it means a healthier and longer life and for negative people it creates an opportunity to cross that sero divide and actively participate in de-stigmatising what is arguably the most stigmatised chronic illness ever.
TasP is considered safe sex in relation to HIV transmission, although it doesn’t prevent other STIs.
If you are HIV negative and taking PrEP, you don’t need to be overly concerned about whether your sexual partner has an undetectable viral load, as PrEP is sufficient protection to prevent HIV transmission.