Making HIV Undetectable

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Undetectable Equals Untransmittable

  • HIV treatment can reduce the amount of virus in the body to levels so low that the virus is undetectable.
  • People who maintain an undetectable viral load for at least six months cannot transmit HIV through sex.
  • This is known as undetectable equals untransmittable, or U = U.
Icons of two test tubes. Test tube at left shows dots depicting high viral load and test tube at right shows one dot depicting undetectable viral load. Arrow from left pointing to right shows how HIV treatment can lower viral load from high to undetectable level
People with an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV through sex.

Treating HIV

  • Medicines to treat HIV are safe and more effective than ever.
  • When taken as prescribed, HIV medicines reduce the amount of virus in a person’s body.
  • The sooner a person with HIV starts treatment, the less HIV can damage their body.
Icons of medicine bottle and two pills
Icons of medicine bottle and two pills

HIV medicines are called antiretroviral therapy (ART). There is no cure for HIV, but ART can help reduce the amount of virus in your body. To make medicines part of your routine, sign up to receive text reminders by texting MEDS to 877877.*

*Texting is available in English and Spanish

HIV and Sexual Health

  • Icon of clipboard with check mark on it

    If you do not know your HIV status, get tested — it’s fast and easy. It’s also free at New York City Health Department Sexual Health Clinics.

  • Icon of stethoscope
    If you are living with HIV, be sure to take your medicines as prescribed and see an HIV doctor for regular checkups.
  • Icon of medicine bottle
    If you do not have HIV, take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) daily to prevent transmission.
  • Icon of condom in wrapper
    If you are sexually active, use condoms as often as possible to protect against HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy.

Finding Services

HIV testing, care and treatment services are available regardless of your immigration status or ability to pay:

*Texting is available in English and Spanish