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How do I stay HIV undetectable?

When we use the phrase undetectable it seems like it’s the pot of gold that everyone’s trying to reach. And the fact of the matter is that, that’s not the destination. It’s just part of the journey. And so you get to that point undetectable and then your work is still not done after that. You have to maintain it over a specific period of time. You can’t just say well I’m undetectable, I can stop taking my medications and I’m good. No that means that the medications are working well.

Keep going to your doctor’s office visits, keep getting your labs drawn, keep in communication about what’s going on. When you see that your refills are getting low, call the doctor’s office or call in that extra refill. Don’t run out and then come back to it later,

You have to keep at this. And so once you get to undetectable that’s just the beginning of the journey.

Dr. David Malebranche, MD, MPH, a clinician-researcher specializing in HIV, gives the lowdown on all things HIV care and treatment in the latest installment of the #AskTheHIVDoc video series.


#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than HIV featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decision.

While we make every effort to keep the medical information on our website updated, we cannot guarantee that the information reflects the most up-to-date research. Also, please note the views expressed by individuals who appear in Greater Than HIV videos and other content are their own and are not made on behalf of any groups/organizations/associations.