Extensive antiretroviral therapy scale-up is expected to prevent onward transmission of HIV by reducing the overall community viral load. Despite multiple studies about predictors of detectable viral load derived from clinical setting, to date, no study has established such predictors using a population-based viral load survey in a sub-Saharan African hyperendemic setting to inform interventions designed to halt HIV transmission. We used one of Africa's largest prospective cohorts in rural KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, to establish the key sociodemographic, behavioral and community predictors of unsuppressed viral load at the population level.