How can I avoid passing HIV to others?

The great news is that there are many things you can do to avoid passing HIV:

Take and stay on HIV treatment.

If you take HIV treatment and maintain an undetectable viral load…

when you have sex

you will not pass HIV to your sex partners


during pregnancy and delivery

you will not pass HIV to your fetus or baby—as long as your viral load is undetectable before and during your pregnancy


if you use injection drugs and share needles or other equipment

you reduce the risk of transmission, but we don't know by how much

Use condoms. Condoms can prevent the transmission of HIV and other STIs (sexually transmitted infections).

If you use injection drugs, use new needles and injecting equipment every time. If you use new equipment each time you use drugs, there is no risk of passing HIV or hepatitis C through drug use.

Feed your baby formula. Canadian guidelines recommend using formula to feed your baby (instead of breastfeeding or chestfeeding).

If you have an HIV-negative sex partner, they might be a candidate for PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). PrEP involves an HIV-negative person taking certain medications to avoid getting HIV. Your partner can talk to their doctor about it.