The two main ways HIV is passed on are via unprotected anal & vaginal sex, or during pregnancy and birth.


Safer Sex and HIV

The simplest and most effective way to protect yourself from HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) is to wear a condom.



When the right condom is used properly they are upwards of 98% effective. But it’s important to make sure of the following:

  • You have the right size condom for you. Penises come in all shapes and sizes and there are condoms to fit them all. Having the right size ensures a comfortable and safe fit.
  • The condom is in date. Before you use it check the date on the condom wrapper (usually written like 05/2022). When condoms go out of date the can become more prone to breakages.
  • Open the condom wrapped with your fingers, not your teeth. You don’t want to tear the condom.
  • Once the condom is on use a water or silicon based lubricant on the outside of the condom.
  • Change condoms if you’re having a long session, or are with multiple partners.
  • Only take the condom off once you have finished and pulled out completely, and dispose of it in a bin.

Treatment as Prevention (TAsP) and Undetectability

When someone is diagnosed with HIV they will be put on treatment. This treatment is in the form of pills, and can often be as little as one pill once a day.

The treatment can control the virus to such a point that the lab machines cannot detect HIV in that person’s blood. This does not mean they’re cured, but that the treatment is being effective. This is known as having an ‘undetectable’ viral load.

Numerous studies, including an ongoing large study called PARTNER, has shown that HIV positive people who have had an undetectable viral load for six months or more do not transmit HIV to their partners during sex. Undetectable = Untransmittable.



The study followed 1116 sero-different couples, that’s where one partner is HIV positive and one partner is HIV negative, for six years.

The positive partners were all on treatment and had undetectable viral loads, and the negative partners received regular testing.

Over the six years the couples logged over 60,000 condomless sex sessions. There were zero infections from partner-to-partner.