HIV AIDS Stigma and education

The Positive champions Support U=U campaign

All people living with HIV have a right to accurate and meaningful information about their social, sexual, and reproductive health.

What is U=U?

“U=U is a simple but hugely important campaign based on a solid foundation of scientific evidence. It has already been successful in influencing public opinion, causing more people with HIV (and their friends and families) to comprehend that they can live long, healthy lives, have children, and never have to worry about passing on their infection to others. The CDC officially backing the science behind the campaign is another key step towards U=U being the most important message of 2017 in the fight against HIV.”

The Lancet (November, 2017)

Undetectable = Untransmittable

“People who take ART daily as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  (September, 2017

A community of people living with HIV collaborated with the leading researchers on HIV sexual transmission to answer a fundamental question about living with HIV and having an undetectable viral load: Will I pass on HIV to my sexual partner?  

 The science is clear. People living with HIV can feel confident that if they have an undetectable viral load and take their medications properly as prescribed, they will not pass on HIV to sexual partners (Undetectable = Untransmittable U=U).

U=U offers freedom and hope. For many people living with HIV and their partners, U=U opens up social, sexual, and reproductive choices they never thought would be possible. 

U=U is an unprecedented opportunity to transform the lives of people with HIV and the field:

  • Reduces the shame and fear of sexual transmission and opens up possibilities for conceiving children without alternative means of insemination.

  • Dismantles HIV stigma on the community, clinical, and personal level.​​

  • Encourages people living with HIV to start and stay on treatment to keep them and their partners healthy. ​​

  • Strengthens advocacy for universal access to diagnostics, treatment, and care to save lives and bring us closer to ending the epidemic.

However, the majority of millions of people living with HIV do not know U=U, and many do not have access to the diagnostics, treatment, and care they need to get to and maintain an undetectable viral load. There are still confusing messages, outdated websites, and uninformed policy makers and healthcare workers who are not comfortable sharing this information, don’t yet know about it, or don’t yet realize the significance of it. 

Prevention Access Campaign’s U=U movement is changing that narrative by uniting with Community Partners around the world to ensure this groundbreaking research reaches the people and the field it was intended to benefit.

NOTE: An undetectable viral load is typically under 40 copies/ml depending on the diagnostic tests. However, studies show a person living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with a viral load of 200 copies/ml or less also cannot sexually transmit HIV. This is called being “virally suppressed.” For the purposes of the U=U campaign and any Prevention Access Campaign materials, the term “undetectable” is used synonymously with the term “virally suppressed,” meaning a person living with HIV with a viral load of 200 copies/ml or less cannot transmit HIV. 

What if my viral load is not undetectable?

If you are living with HIV and you have a detectable viral load, there are highly effective HIV prevention options for safer sex including condoms, and in some parts of the world, PrEP for your HIV-negative partners, which can be used individually or in combination. Everyone living with HIV regardless of viral load can have full and healthy social, sexual, and reproductive lives.

Consult with your medical provider about the options available to you for your health and the health of your partners. For more information, see The Third U=Unequal.

Undetectable = Untransmittable

We invite you to take part in the movement and the message!

  • Become a U=U Community Partner – Join the growing global movement of over 535 organizations from 70 countries that have pledged to share the U=U message in ways that work for their communities. To endorse the U=U Consensus Statement and sign up your organization, please visit our Community Partners page.

  • Take Part on Award-Winning Social Media – Healthline, one of the fastest growing consumer health information websites (more than 65 million monthly visitors), honored the U=U campaign as 2017 “Best HIV Patient Advocacy Organization,” many of our advocates including were honored on the “HIV Influences Honors List,” and Bruce Richman was honored as “Person of the Year.” U=U was awarded Healthline’s 2016 “Best Use of Social Media in HIV Advocacy” thanks to our strong global U=U activist network. Please join the U=U Facebook Group and follow U=U on Twitter to take part in the message and movement. Please use the hashtag #UequalsU and our partners’ hashtags #CantPassitOn #DCTakesonHIV and #LovePositive to stay united! 

  • Keep Your Eyes Open – Launched in January, 2017, the  Accuracy Watchdog  monitors the media for inaccuracies, HIV stigma, and bias related to HIV prevention (U=U and PrEP) in partnership with Human Rights Campaign. If you see potential inaccuracies, HIV stigma, or bias related to HIV prevention in the media, please let us know.

  • Write about it! – U=U was awarded the #1 blog of 2016 by POZ.com, and received extensive coverage in a wide range of mainstream outlets including The Washington Post, CNN, US News & World Report, Newsweek, Reuters, Daily Mail, New York Post, Advocate, LA Weekly, US Weekly, Redbook, Queerty, VICE, Bangalore Mirror, and Medical Brief – Africa’s Medical Media Digest. U=U is consistently in the HIV/AIDS media including PositiveLite, TheBody.com, A&U, Plus, POZ.com, My Fabulous Disease, Positively Aware, and [imstilljosh]. For all the coverage, visit our News section.

  • Donate – U=U has been led almost entirely by volunteers. Please support the message and the movement that is changing what it means to live with HIV.  Thank you! ​

 ​​Viral Suppression NIH

People who take ART daily as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative pa r tne r.” Center for Disease Control “Dea r Co l league” Letter (Sept. 2017)
“The science really does validate and verify Undetectable = Untransmittable.” Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, NIAID, National Institutes of Health (Sept. 2017)
“U=U is a simple but hugely important campaign based on a solid foundation of scientific evidence. The CDC officially backing the science behind thecampaign is another key step towards U=U being the most important messageof 2017 in the fight against HIV.” The Lancet (Nov. 2017)
The science is clear:
– Early, effective and consistent antiretroviral therapy (ART) enables people with HIV
to live long, healthy lives.

– Groundbreaking studies and decades of observation confirm not a single HIV transmission between mixed status sexual partners when the HIV positive partner
was on ART with an undetectable viral load.

The U=U message offers freedom and hope:
– Reduces the shame and fear of sexual transmission
– Dismantles HIV stigma on the personal, clinical and community level
– Encourages people living with HIV to start and stay on treatment to keep them and their partners healthy.
– Strengthens advocacy for universal access to treatment, care, and diagnostics .
U=U is an unprecedented opportunity to improve lives of people living with HIV, dismantle HIV stigma, and bring us closer to ending the epidemic. This revolutionary but still largely unknown U=U science needs to reach the people and the field it was intended to benefit. Prevention Access Campaign’s U=U initiative is an international community of over 500 organizations and public health bodies from 68 countries dedicated to sharing this research in accurate, meaningful, and culturally competent ways with their constituents .
Learn more, find resources, and declare your endorsement of the U=U Consensus
Statement of Prevention Access Campaign:
www.preventionaccess.org www.preventionaccess.org/espanol
#UequalsU #ScienceNotSilence #FactsNotFear