By the time you read this, we hope that you’ve heard or read about the amazing campaign started by Bruce Richman from Prevention Access in Brooklyn New York City. The goal is to educate as many people as possible, but especially the gay male community, about the effects of treatment as a form of preventing the infection and spread of the HIV virus.
In simple terms, undetectable equals untransmittable (uequalsu). Meaning, a guy who is HIV positive, but on proper treatment and has an undetectable viral load, is unable to transmit, or rather, infect anyone with this virus. Even when sex is without a condom.
We proudly stand with this campaign because it is based on science, and not fear. The facts are clear.
There is now evidence-based confirmation that the risk of HIV transmission from a person living with HIV (PLHIV), who is on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) and has achieved an undetectable viral load in their blood for at least 6 months is negligible to non-existent. While HIV is not always transmitted even with a detectable viral load, when the partner with HIV has an undetectable viral load this both protects their own health and prevents new HIV infections.[i]
However, the majority of PLHIV, medical providers and those potentially at risk of acquiring HIV are not aware of the extent to which successful treatment prevents HIV transmission.[ii] Much of the messaging about HIV transmission risk is based on outdated research and is influenced by agency or funding restraints and politics which perpetuate sex-negativity, HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
Hey, don’t just believe us…
The full consensus statement statement has been endorsed by:
Dr. Michael Brady – Medical Director of Terrence Higgins Trust and Consultant HIV Physician, London, UK
Dr. Myron Cohen – Principal Investigator, HPTN 052; Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, UNC School of Medicine, North Carolina, USA
Dr. Demetre C. Daskalakis, MPH – Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, USA
Dr. Andrew Grulich – Principal Investigator, Opposites Attract; Head of HIV Epidemiology and Prevention Program, Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Australia
Dr. Jens Lundgren – Co-principal Investigator, PARTNER; Professor, Department of Infectious Diseases, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Dr. Mona Loutfy, MPH – Lead author on Canadian consensus statement on HIV and its transmission in the context of the criminal law; Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, Women’s College Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Dr. Julio Montaner – Director of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS; Director of IDC and Physician Program Director for HIV/AIDS PHC, Vancouver BC, Canada
Dr. Pietro Vernazza – Executive Committee, PARTNER; Author, Swiss Statement 2008, Update 2016; Chief of the Infectious Disease Division, Cantonal Hospital in St. Gallen, Switzerland
The following Community Partners have signed on to the U=U campaign as of May 10, 2017:
End AIDS NY 2020 Community Coalition – 79 New York State-based organizations (USA)
Tags: Bruce Richman, HIV prevention, Prevention Action, UequalsU, undetectable, viral load