A few people cannot get an undetectable viral load even though they take HIV medicine as prescribed. If your viral load is not undetectable—or does not stay undetectable—you can still protect your partners by using other prevention options. You should also have a pelvic examination and get tested for other sexually transmitted diseases STDs during your pregnancy. Getting and keeping an undetectable viral load prevents HIV transmission during sex.
It's natural to wonder if safe sex is unnecessary when you and your partner both have HIV. After all, if you don't have to be concerned about transmitting HIV between each other, that's one less thing to worry about at a time when your health is already at the forefront of your mind. So what's the bottom line? Can you take safe sex off your to-do list? Although it may be disappointing to hear, safe sex is essential even when both sexual partners are living with HIV. Individuals who are living with HIV can also be infected with other STDs, and having the disease can make some of these infections substantially worse.
And with the right precautions, even that most intimate of connections — conceiving a child together — can safely be accomplished. One way to address the anxiety about infecting a partner is to understand the exact level of risk involved with different types of sexual activity. Among heterosexuals, vaginal intercourse is a common route of HIV transmission, with the woman at greater risk for HIV infection than the man. In heterosexual sex, that is the woman.
We assume you are referring whether you can be "re-infected" or "superinfected" with another strain of HIV. It is true that a person who's been infected with one strain can become infected with a second strain when exposed to it such as through unprotected sex , but this appears to be quite uncommon. A person whose first HIV infection is relatively recent may be more susceptible to infection with a second strain. Someone may become sicker once the second strain of the virus enters the system. This happens because the new strain may be more difficult for the immune system to control, or because the new strain is resistant to the HIV medications the person is taking.