I’m living with HIV. Can I have sex without a condom?

If you’re living with HIV, you’ll want to consider a few things when deciding whether to have sex without a condom. These include HIV prevention, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy prevention (if applicable), and the laws in your country.

Once your viral load has been undetectable for six months you are unable to pass HIV along through sex, as long as you continue to take your HIV treatments and remain undetectable. This means you can have sex without a condom without worrying about passing HIV on to your partner(s). You can learn more on the page Undetectable viral load and HIV transmission.

If your viral load is not undetectable, you may wish to use other HIV prevention methods, such as choosing partners who are living with HIV or choosing partners who are taking PrEP (a medicine that prevents HIV infection). See our page on HIV transmission for more information.

Your own sexual health is important, and it is about more than just HIV. Being undetectable prevents HIV transmission, but it will not prevent you from getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) if you are exposed to one through sex. It also won’t prevent you from passing on an STI to your partner(s) if you have one.

Being undetectable also does not prevent pregnancy. If you are having sex without a condom that could result in pregnancy, you’ll want to consider pregnancy prevention. Our pages on sexual health have more information about STIs and contraception.

Some places have laws about whether people living with HIV can have sex. These vary by country and may require you to disclose your HIV status to your partner(s), use a condom, or be undetectable. To find the laws where you live, visit HIV criminalisation laws around the world.

Next review date