People with HIV who are on effective medications that reduce the virus to undetectable levels cannot sexually transmit HIV. This is because undetectable equals untransmittable (U=U). U=U has been accepted by the global medical and scientific community, including the CDC, WHO, and UNAIDS. It is redefining what it means for people with HIV to remain healthy and live and love without fear of transmitting HIV to their partners.
U=U is game-changing for people with HIV and plays a foundational role in ending the HIV epidemic. This fact transforms the social, sexual, and reproductive lives of people with HIV by freeing them from the shame and fear of transmitting HIV to their partners. It dismantles the HIV stigma that destroys lives and impedes our progress toward ending the epidemic, reduces anxiety associated with testing, and encourages people with HIV to start and stay on treatment to stay healthy and also prevent new transmissions. U=U also offers a public health strategy to increase access and remove barriers to treatment and care to save lives and also prevent new transmissions.
Many people with HIV are still suffering from both internal and societal stigma because they and others incorrectly believe they can transmit HIV. U=U is a solution to longstanding HIV stigma, bringing hope and new possibilities for people with HIV to love, have sex, and conceive children without fear of passing on HIV.
The news about U=U must be widely disseminated in a clear, consistent, and accurate manner to greatly improve the lives of people with HIV and bring us closer to ending the epidemic. Despite the obvious life-changing benefits of U=U, many people with HIV still do not know about it. It is urgent and important to share this life-changing news with people with HIV, healthcare providers, policy makers, and the public.