HIV prevention: What you need to know (infographic)

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Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada

Date published: November 2019

The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested!

It's unforgettable! Undetectable = Untransmittable

People living with HIV, who take HIV medication as prescribed, and maintain an undetectable viral load, have effectively no risk of passing HIV to their sexual partner(s).

What does undetectable viral load mean?

Viral load is the amount of HIV in a person's blood. Treatment can lower the amount of virus in blood to a level that is too low to be measured on a test. This means it is undetectable.

Having an undetectable viral load does not mean a person is cured of HIV. It is important to take HIV medication daily and visit a health care provider regularly.

People who are on treatment, engaged in care, and maintain an undetectable viral load, do not transmit HIV to their baby during pregnancy and delivery.

Be PrEPared

A pill a day can keep HIV away:

There is a pill to reduce your risk if you are likely to be exposed to HIV. Talk to your health care provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

PEP talk

There is medication that can be taken after HIV exposure, which can help prevent HIV infection.

If you think you may have been recently exposed to HIV, visit a health professional right away and ask them if post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is right for you.

PEP should be started as soon as possible after exposure, up to a maximum of 72 hours afterwards.

Use condoms and other barrier methods, as well as lubricants, to protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Don't share drug-use equipment.

To learn more: Visit


Footnote *

Haddad N, Robert A, Weeks A, Popovic N, Siu W and Archibald C. HIV in Canada - Surveillance Report, 2018. Can Commun Dis Rep. 2019

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