for Veterans and the Public
Frequently Asked Questions
Transmission and Risk
- I keep hearing about U=U. What does that really mean?
- If I am on HIV medications and my viral load is undetectable (meaning that the virus isn't showing up on blood tests), can I still pass the virus to another person through sex?
- Can I be infected with hepatitis C more than once?
- What do I need to know about pregnancy and HIV infection?
- Can you reduce the risk of getting HIV after having unprotected sex with someone who has HIV?
- Why should you use condoms to prevent transmission when HIV is treatable?
- What are the risks of getting HIV if you put on a condom after you've already started having sex?
- Should a woman douche after a condom breaks?
- What are the chances of a man being infected with HIV after unprotected sex with a woman?
- Can you get HIV through oral sex?
- Is it safe for an HIV-positive person to have unprotected sex with another HIV-positive person?
- Will cleaning IV-drug needles and syringes with bleach before using them prevent you from getting HIV?
- Can two HIV-positive parents have an HIV-negative child?
- Can a couple in which one person is HIV positive conceive a baby without passing the virus to the uninfected partner?
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)Read the FAQs for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) here.
Testing and the Window Period
- Would you know whether you're infected with HIV without getting tested?
- How soon after risky sex can you be 100% sure you are clear of HIV?
- How accurate is the rapid oral HIV test?
- What do "inconclusive" test results mean on a home HIV test?
- I have heard that I can get HIV medication once a month instead of taking my meds every day. How does it work?
- Should I start treatment immediately after learning that I am infected with HIV?
- Can I take hep C medications along with my HIV medications?
- Why change your HIV regimen when you've been on it for years, and it's working?
- If you change to new HIV medicines (ARVs), can you go back to the old ones in the future?
- When should you start antiretroviral therapy?
- Is there a once-a-day pill for HIV?
- What is drug resistance in HIV and how can you avoid it?
- What should you do if you miss a dose of your HIV medicines?
- Can you take a break from your HIV medicines?
- Will HIV medicines cause changes to your fat and stomach?
- Is it true that someone has been cured of HIV?
- Will VA share information about my HIV diagnosis with others?
- Where can I get information about VA health care benefits?
- Will I have to pay anything for my care and medications at VA?
- Is it safe for people with HIV to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- Should you get a flu shot?
- What's the difference between the flu and a cold?
- Is it safe to treat the flu when you are on HIV medications?
- How long can people infected with HIV expect to live?
- Will having hepatitis C cause problems with your HIV?