Dear Dr. Dick,

I've been sprung ever since I met my partner Johnson last month----this man is off the chain! Anyway, he recently got his levels checked and the doc told him he's "undetectable." To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what "undetectable" means, but I was too shy to ask him. We used condoms at first, but haven't since we had the conversation about his viral load. Just for my info, what exactly does undetectable mean, and can you tell me how likely I am to get HIV?

- Dick in Downtown Seattle

Too shy to ask?
It should be a part of any conversation!
It;s only been a month and without test results and lab reports, I'd be more cautious.

I particularly agree with the Dr.'s comment here:
"If you're going to make important health decisions based on what a partner tells you, you need to be confident that the information you're getting is right. Some people may believe they are undetectable, but actually aren't. If a person stops taking their HIV medications, they rapidly become detectable and can transmit HIV. Also, some people are not entirely truthful with their partners. I'm not saying that your partner is not being truthful or that lots of people lie about being undetectable, but some people are not entirely honest. You really need to trust someone if you're going to take a significant risk based on what they tell you. At least to me, it's one thing to trust someone you know and care about. It's quite another thing to wager your health on what someone you've never met before says on their online profile."