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Undetectable=Untransmittable

RHAC proudly endorses U=U (Undetectable=Untransmittable), which is supported by evidence that people living with HIV who are on effective treatment and maintain an undetectable viral load cannot sexually transmit HIV.

Over the last ten years, scientists around the world have engaged in many small and large-scale studies that examine the possibility of HIV transmission/acquisition when a person living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load has condomless sex with a person who is not living with HIV. Given the strength of that evidence, the Prevention Action Campaign produced the following Consensus Statement, as a summary conclusion, and it is now endorsed by over 550 organizations in 71 different countries:

“People living with HIV on ART [Antiretroviral Therapy] with an undetectable viral load in their blood have a negligible risk of sexual transmission of HIV. Depending on the drugs employed it may take as long as six months for the viral load to become undetectable. Continued and reliable HIV suppression requires selection of appropriate agents and excellent adherence to treatment. HIV viral suppression should be monitored to assure both personal health and public health benefits.”

This statement means that if you are a person living with HIV and you follow the treatment steps outlined above and attain and maintain an undetectable viral load (as measured in the bloodstream), you can have condomless sex and know that you will not transmit HIV to your sexual partner(s). Viral load refers to the amount of HIV in the blood of a person living with HIV. HIV treatment can reduce the amount of HIV in the blood to a low level said to be “undetectable.” To quote various other medical professionals, when it comes to sex in this context, you are uninfectious, you are not “dangerous” to your partner(s), and there is effectively no risk whatsoever of you transmitting HIV.

View our full U=U Position Statement here.

 

For more information on U=U or Unedectable Viral Load (UVL), visit: