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How long does it take to get to HIV undetectable?

Everybody’s body is a little bit different.

Don’t compare yourself to other people. There are some folks that start their HIV medications and within two weeks they’re undetectable. There are some people that may take weeks or months to get to that point. And the answer is it’s going to depend on who you are, what medication you’re on, the strain of the virus, and what’s working or not.

As long as we see you going in a trend where your viral load is going down. Then we know that the medication’s working. If we see a plateau, then we need to do some more investigation to figure out if the medication is actually working.

If you’re taking your medication every day and the virus that you have is not resistant to any of the medication you should get to undetectable. But again remember sometimes it takes time.

Just keep on the train, keep taking the medication, keep doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and then know that it may take a few months before you actually get there. Everybody’s journey is different, so don’t compare yourself to anybody else.

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.