Prevention Access Campaign invites you to show support for the Undetectable = Untransmittable message by becoming a Community Partner.
Prevention Access Campaign is a community of people living with HIV, researchers, organizations, and other allies who share the common goals to end the dual epidemics of HIV and HIV-related stigma by empowering people with accurate and meaningful information.
Sharing the Undetectable = Untransmittable message provides an unprecedented opportunity to improve the lives of people living with HIV and to dismantle HIV stigma. It has far-reaching public health implications for engagement across each stage of the treatment cascade and for expanded access to treatment and care.
Community partners agree with the scientific consensus statement “Risk of Sexual Transmission of HIV from a Person Living with HIV who has an Undetectable Viral Load" that appears here. It has been endorsed by leading HIV experts and researchers from around the world.
Community partners agree we can comfortably say that a person living with HIV who is on ART and has a sustained undetectable viral load for at least six months does not transmit HIV to sexual partners.
Community partners agree that the health and prevention benefits of viral suppression are platforms to underscore the importance of universal access to treatment and care for all people living with HIV worldwide.
Community partners agree that treatment is a personal choice, that treatment is first and foremost for personal health, that there are unjust barriers to accessing treatment, that not all people living with HIV will achieve an undetectable viral load, and there is no place for stigmatizing anyone living with HIV at any viral load.
Community partners agree to support the U = U message. Please use the hashtag #UequalsU in your social media. We'll provide you with suggestions to join in spreading the word.
To have your organization's name added to the list of Community Partners, please complete the following form. A campaign representative will then email you to verify your endorsement and suggest next steps.
Too many people living with HIV are not getting the message of this benefit of treatment and sustained viral suppression from their clinical providers or the HIV education and advocacy community. Understanding that maintaining viral suppression through successful anti-retroviral therapy not only maintains health but also prevents transmission can encourage people living with HIV to initiate and adhere to treatment regimens and may help reduce HIV-related stigma. We acknowledge, however, that social and structural barriers exist that prevent some people living with HIV from achieving viral suppression.
Outdated HIV criminalization laws and policies in the U.S. do not reflect the current science related to HIV transmission risks. Scientific evidence about the reality of transmission risk based in this data about viral suppression and transmission risk has already had an impact on HIV criminalization statutes and prosecutions in Europe.
Therefore, AIDS United recommends:
1. That providers and educators consistently share the message that new evidence demonstrates that a person living with HIV who has a sustained, undetectable viral load cannot sexually transmit HIV to another person.
2. That the Department of Health and Human Services Antiretroviral Guidelines Committee examine this issue further and consider updating Guidelines language.
3. That HIV criminal laws and policies in the United States be modernized to reflect the science related to viral suppression and HIV transmission risk.
AIDS United signed on to the Consensus Statement issued by the Prevention Access Campaign, a relatively new multi-agency campaign to end HIV and HIV-related stigma by expanding access to HIV prevention and empowering people with/vulnerable to HIV with accurate information.
Read the full statement.
New York State Consensus Statement on HIV Viral Suppression by the ENDAIDS NY 2020 Community Coalition:
The New York State End AIDS 2020 Community Coalition joins national and international HIV experts to affirm the now conclusive scientific evidence that people with HIV who are on antiretroviral treatment (ART) that suppresses the virus to an “undetectable” level not only successfully protect their own health but cannot transmit HIV to others.* In short, undetectable status equals untransmittable status, and public education and messaging about HIV should be updated to promote and reflect this reality.
The incontrovertible evidence that HIV cannot be sexually transmitted if one is durably virally suppressed is something that we all celebrate as a key milestone in ending AIDS as an epidemic:
Fear of HIV transmission drives HIV stigma, discrimination, and HIV criminalization laws, so by amplifying the message that Undetectable = Untransmittable, we can dismantle this fear.
Knowledge that a person who is virally suppressed cannot transmit the virus affirms the ability of people with HIV to live healthy, sex-positive lives, including being able to conceive children without alternative insemination practices if they choose and to engage in sex without fear of putting partners at risk of infection.
This clear evidence provides even more reason for every person to know his or her HIV status, and for every person with HIV to start and maintain treatment without delay—to protect their own health and the health of their community.
The evidence of ART’s highly effective preventative benefits provides a new opportunity and urgency for advocacy to realize the recommendations in our NYS State plan for Ending the Epidemic (ETE) by increasing the number and percentage of New Yorkers able to achieve and sustain viral suppression—including universal access to HIV care, supporting retention in care and ART adherence, and providing the support services necessary for all people with HIV to benefit from treatment.
Because far too many New Yorkers with HIV still face demonstrated barriers to sustained viral suppression, including housing and food insecurity, lack of transportation, behavioral health issues, stigma, discrimination and criminalization, the State ETE plan includes concrete steps to combat and overcome social drivers of HIV health inequities.
Sustained HIV viral suppression requires that physicians consult with each person with HIV being treated to select the appropriate treatment for optimal effectiveness and adherence. HIV viral suppression should then be monitored to assure both personal health and public health benefits. We of course acknowledge clinical barriers to achieving viral load suppression including previous antiretroviral treatment that may have resulted in resistance. Some people may choose not to be treated or may not be ready to start treatment.
The End AIDS New York 2020 Community Coalition enthusiastically supports the Undetectable = Untransmittable campaign and calls for immediate steps to translate the supporting evidence into new actions to end AIDS:
The Undetectable = Untransmittable news must be shared widely with people with HIV and disseminated by medical providers, educators, and public health officials.
Government must reexamine, in light of the evidence, all laws and regulations that criminalize HIV and discourage HIV-testing.
We call for review of the literature, further research, and dissemination of information on the impact of viral suppression on other forms of HIVtransmission: Viral suppression greatly reduces the possibility of transmission through breast-feeding, but guidelines for mothers vary depending on the countries in which they live rather than giving women the facts and allowing them to make what they deem to be the best choice for themselves and their infants. There has been little or no research on the impact of viral suppression related to injection drug use, which is the most efficient route of transmission and is a leading cause of HIV infection, particularly where harm reduction resources are not available. Our goal should always be to empower people with HIV to make decisions based on facts and not prejudice.
Finally, we must work together and across systems to make sure that every person with HIV has the opportunity, means, and support to achieve durable viral suppression.
By joining in this statement, the Community Coalition affirms the related Consensus Statement and supports the Policy Statement of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD).
* The term “undetectable” is used here synonymously with the term “virally suppressed,” meaning a consistent viral load of 200 copies/ml or less.
Read the full statement.
Examples of Community Partners' U=U Graphics & Campaigns:
Examples of Community Partners' Endorsements:
NAM aidsmap, one of the foremost sources of HIV information in the world, strongly endorses the ‘Undetectable Equals Untransmittable’ (U=U) Consensus Statement issued by the Prevention Access Campaign.
NAM’s Executive Director, Matthew Hodson, says, “The scientific evidence is clear. Someone who has undetectable levels of virus in their blood does not pose an infection risk to their sexual partners. In terms of HIV prevention, if condom use is safer sex, then sex with someone who has maintained an undetectable viral load is even safer sex."
“This understanding transforms the way that HIV is considered with enormous implications for what it now means to live with HIV and the best ways to prevent it. The preventative impact of effective HIV treatment underlines the importance of expanding access to treatment and of improving treatment uptake and adherence for all people living with HIV worldwide.”
Transmission risk is a major concern for people living with HIV and their sexual partners. Since the results of the PARTNER study it has been clear that the risk of HIV transmission when treatment is effective is negligible. “The fear of catching HIV from a sexual partner fuels HIV stigma, which is why it’s so important that the ‘undetectable equals untransmittable’ message is heard and understood,” says Hodson.
Read the full statement.
The British HIV Association (BHIVA), today announces its endorsement for the ‘Undetectable Equals Untransmittable’ (U=U) Consensus Statement produced by the Prevention Access Campaign.
BHIVA Chair, Professor Chloe Orkin, said: “As the UK’s leading voice for HIV health professionals, our backing for U=U is unequivocal. There should be no doubt about the clear and simple message that a person with sustained, undetectable levels of HIV virus in their blood cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partners.
“This fact is a testament to the preventive impact of effective HIV treatment and highlights the need to maximise access to treatment in order to minimise and ultimately eradicate HIV transmission. Spreading the U=U message is also an important way to help reduce the stigma experienced by people living with HIV, whose sexual partners may fear infection unnecessarily.”
understood,” says Hodson.
Read the full statement.
ICASO (International Council of AIDS Service Organizations)
INA (Māori, Indigenous & South Pacific) HIV/AIDS Foundation
- January 20, 2017 (CAN & NZ)
ICASO (International Council of AIDS Service Organizations) and INA (Māori, Indigenous & South Pacific) HIV/AIDS Foundation strongly endorse the Undetectable = Untransmittable (U = U) Consensus Statement issued by the Prevention Access Campaign. The scientific evidence is clear and unequivocal: effective treatment reduces HIV transmission risk to zero.
The Consensus Statement highlights unprecedented scientific consensus that early diagnosis and treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART) not only restores people living with HIV to a normal life expectancy, but it also has far-reaching public health impacts. This has enormous implications for the battle against the epidemic, particularly in the global south and regions such as Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where access to HIV diagnostics and ART remains poor. Achieving U = U will not be possible where HIV diagnostics, such as viral load testing, are unavailable, where stockouts interrupt treatment access, and where there are inadequate community and health system support to maintain adherence. The new evidence highlighted by the Consensus Statement will be important in driving much-needed improvements across the HIV cascade.
The latest scientific evidence also dispels dangerous and inaccurate myths about the transmission risk posed by people living with HIV. Public fear about HIV has driven HIV stigma, discrimination, human rights violations and a grossly disproportionate application of the criminal law in cases of non-disclosure to sexual partners. People living with HIV in countries around the world have been convicted of serious criminal offences, such as aggravated sexual assault, even when no transmission occurs.
Many populations are unable to realize the full potential of ART because of poverty, racism, homophobia, violence against women and laws which criminalize sex workers, men who have sex with men and people who use drugs. Dismantling the legal, economic and societal barriers to diagnosis and treatment for people living with HIV is, more than ever, critical to ending AIDS.
ICASO and INA call on policymakers to remove the legal and economic barriers to HIV diagnosis and treatment and to reform laws which criminalize people living with HIV.
The consensus statement is a clarion call to governments and other funders that increasing access to ART is critical to halting the AIDS epidemic and reaching the “90-90-90” goals set by the United National Global Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Current financing for treatment via The Global Fund, bilateral agencies, foundations and national health ministries are inadequate to achieving these goals.
The evidence is in. It is time to act. Now!
Read the full statement.
All of us here at CATIE, and indeed around the world, are celebrating the most significant development in the HIV world since the advent of effective combination therapy 20 years ago – people living with HIV with sustained undetectable viral loads can confidently declare to their sexual partners “I’m not infectious!” The “fabulousness” of this news cannot be overstated. With or without a condom, if you’re undetectable you won’t pass along HIV!
This is an absolute game-changer and those who live with HIV can proudly share this information. At the same time, service providers working in HIV must get up to speed fast and share this far and wide with their communities. CATIE will be developing more resources to help share this momentous news so stay tuned!
In the meantime, look at the prevention resources on catie.ca and add your organization’s name to the Consensus Statement of the Prevention Access Campaign. Let’s get the word out! Get tested, get on treatment, become undetectable and have lots of great sex!
Laurie Edmiston, Executive Director CATIE - Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange
Read the full statement.
Studies show that people living with HIV who are on treatment and have a suppressed viral load do not transmit HIV to HIV-negative sex partners. In other words, if you are living with HIV and have an undetectable viral load, you don’t have to worry about passing HIV on to your sex partners.
For many people, being undetectable offers a renewed sense of freedom, brings less anxiety around sex, and reduces stigma associated with HIV.
San Francisco AIDS Foundation supports the Undetectable = Untransmittable message by Prevention Access Campaign. Read more about the initiative.
View the website.
The Well Project, the premier online resource for women and HIV, is proud to endorse the Consensus Statement* by the Prevention Access Campaign that "Undetectable Equals Untransmittable" (U=U). In our mission to change the course of the HIV/AIDS pandemic though a unique and comprehensive focus on women and girls, we are committed to supporting and disseminating the message that U=U through our diverse resources.
Increasing awareness that having an undetectable viral load means that people living with HIV will not transmit the virus can have a dramatic impact on public and personal perceptions of HIV. The Well Project has long believed that HIV stigma is the biggest barrier to ending the HIV epidemic and we have worked tirelessly to break down that stigma by providing access to information, community support, and advocacy. We believe the U=U campaign is an extraordinarily powerful tool with the potential to address all kinds of HIV stigma – including institutional stigma occurring in healthcare settings, workplaces, and broadly across society, interpersonal stigma that can be so damaging among family and friends, and internalized stigma, which many people don't even realize they have. We expect this campaign to open eyes, minds, and hearts and to be particularly empowering for people living with HIV.