Guys like Carlos stay undetectable to prevent HIV

By Chris Williams, updated 1 year ago in Lifestyle / LGBT people and culture

Carlos young Colombian man wearing backpack in the street

Across Australia, guys are using different methods to stop the spread of HIV. Carlos lives with HIV and uses treatment to stay healthy and eliminate the possibility of transmitting the virus.

Carlos’ story

In the five months since Carlos moved from Colombia, he’s been having the time of his life discovering new places, new people and new experiences. When he’s not busy studying, he’s enjoying the nightlife as well as keeping fit. It’s all part of his health-conscious, fun-loving persona.

It’s plain to see Carlos loves being in Australia. And he’s having great experiences with other guys when it comes to talking about his HIV status and sexual safety practices. The guys certainly seem happy with Carlos too — his sex life is out of this world!

“My sex life right now is a little crazy, because I think all the time, sex!”

As someone who lives with HIV, Carlos keeps a good routine that involves seeing a specialist HIV doctor every three months for tests to check for STIs as well as measure his viral load. Taking HIV treatment medicine every day means Carlos’ viral load stays undetectable — this means the amount of virus is so low in his blood that it protects his immune system, keeping him healthy and eliminating the possibility of HIV being passed on during sex.

As someone who doesn’t have access to Medicare, knowing that free treatment is available to him from a public sexual health service helps make his experience of Australia even better.

But even with the confidence that he cannot transmit HIV, Carlos is still mindful of other STIs. So for him, condoms are great way to help avoid them. What’s important to him is talking with his partners about how they’re going to keep each other safe so everyone can make informed decisions.

“When I don’t know someone, I prefer [to] use condoms, but when I know very well someone, I prefer [to] talk with him and then take a decision.”

With everyone’s safety and enjoyment in mind, Carlos is set to make the most of his time studying and working here.

New cases of HIV in Australia are decreasing thanks to the ongoing efforts of guys who are choosing and combining the various different ways to prevent HIV — Guys like Carlos. Guys like you. Guys like us.

Real guys making real choices

Guys across Australia are using different methods to stop the spread of HIV. We caught up with other guys around the country to find out how they each make choices, and how that can sometimes change based on the circumstances. Check out their videos here:

Many ways to prevent HIV

From using condoms to highly effective preventative medicines, different methods work for different guys, and that can all change depending on the circumstances. Discover more about this in Using four great options to prevent HIV: a combination for success

So whether you rely on PrEP, an undetectable viral load, condoms, an emergency course of PEP when it’s needed, or even a blend of options, having real conversations about real choices is the foundation for everyone’s safety and enjoyment.

For anyone in Australia who needs access to HIV treatment but does not have access to Medicare, start a conversation with a sexual health specialist or get in touch through our contact form or Messenger for more information.

For more information on HIV prevention methods, check out these articles:

Discover more about sexual health topics by checking out our Knowledge Hub. And if there’s anything you’d like to know or discuss, use our contact form or start a conversation on Facebook Messenger.

If it’s been more than three months since you last had comprehensive HIV and STIs tests, our interactive map will help you locate testing services nearby and across Australia.

You can also reach out to your local HIV/AIDS or LGBTI health organisation as well as community groups providing support to people living with HIV, and for people considering PrEP. You can find their details in our national network of partners.