The CDC recommends starting treatment as soon as possible after a diagnosis. Get medical care and take medicine to treat HIV (called antiretroviral therapy or ART). Taking HIV medicine can reduce the amount of HIV in the blood (called viral load).
HIV medicine can make the viral load very low (called viral suppression). Viral suppression is defined as having less than 200 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood.
HIV medicine can make the viral load so low that a test can’t detect it (called an undetectable viral load).
Getting and keeping an undetectable viral load (or staying virally suppressed) is the best thing you can do to stay healthy. Having an undetectable viral load also helps prevent transmission to others. In fact, if you have an undetectable viral load, you have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex. Most people can get the virus under control within six months.