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HIV Treatment as Prevention and U=U


What is “Undetectable Equals Untransmittable” (U=U)?

  • The U=U campaign recognizes the clear scientific evidence demonstrating that a person with HIV who has a durably suppressed viral load will not transmit HIV to their sexual partners.
  • Combined data from 2008-2016 show that there were 0 linked HIV transmissions after more than a hundred thousand condom-less sex acts within both heterosexual and male-male serodiscordant couples where the partner living with HIV had a durably undetectable viral load.

ID/HIV providers have a crucial role in providing accurate information to patients with HIV:

  • Knowing U=U can be transformative for people living with HIV and their interpersonal relationships. This affirms that they are not disease vectors and can be touched and loved.
  • Many people with HIV still face both institutional and personal stigma and discrimination. As a result, many avoid relationships, sexual or otherwise, because of their perceived potential to transmit HIV.

Talking to patients about U=U:

  • Counsel them on the necessity of staying undetectable for U=U to work.
  • Educate them on the importance of taking HIV medications every day to stay healthy and also prevent transmission to their sexual partners.
  • Explain and reinforce that when the virus is suppressed, they will not transmit HIV to partners.
  • Encourage patients to know their viral load by keeping their medical appointments so they and their partners are sure of their undetectable status
  • Counsel patients about STD risk and preventive measures such as condoms and screening.   

Resources for providers:

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