Want to join us to change the narrative?

Below are some tools and training opportunities.

 

Consensus Statement created with global experts to clear up mixed messages about the risk of HIV transmission from a person living with HIV who is on treatment and has an undetectable viral load for more than six months. What's the conclusion from the experts from six countries? "Negligible", which means insignificant and not worth taking into consideration.   

See Something Say Something (S4) - a grassroots initiative that trains and supports people living with HIV and allies with the tools and a safe space to identify, report, and resolve inaccuracies, biases, and stigma wherever and whenever they find them. It will take some time before HIV communications catch up to the science about risk. It's up to us to change the narrative about us.  Supported by AIDS United and in collaboration with Positive Women's Network.

FAQ - more details and sources about U=U including STIs, blips, testing and condoms.  Developed with guidance from Terrence Higgins Trust and Positive Women's Network-USA (PWN-USA)

 

Upcoming resources include:

NIH Interview on Viral Suppression* with Dr. Carl Dieffenbach, Director of the Division of AIDS at NIH

*A person is virally suppressed when the amount of HIV in the blood is less than 200 copies/ml. A person is considered undetectable with less than 50 copies/ml. HIV is considered not transmittable below either measurement.  
NOTE:   An undetectable or fully suppressed viral load only prevent HIV transmission. Condoms help prevent HIV as well as other STIs and pregnancy. The HIV prevention method you choose may be different depending upon your sexual practices and relationships. For instance, if you’re having sex with multiple partners or in a non-monogamous relationship, you might consider using PrEP to prevent HIV and/or condoms to help prevent HIV as well as other STIs.
​*Thank you to the pioneering doctors who endorsed the first consensus statement on neglible risk: Dr. Myron CohenDr. Demetre C. DaskalakisDr. Andrew GrulichDr. Jens LundgrenDr. Julio Montaner and Dr. Pietro Vernazza; to Murray Penner and NASTAD; to PAC's Founding Task Forceto Professor Carrie Foote (Indiana University-Indianapolis) and Edwin Bernard (HIV Justice Network), who reviewed and provided valuable input on the Primer; Naina Devi, Wanda Brendle-Moss, Kamaria LaffreyJennie Smith-Camejo and so many of the powerful activists of Positive Women's Network - USA; to Matt Rose of National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC); Peter Staley and Noel GordonGus Cairns of NAM-AIDSMap and Mark S. King of MyFabulousDisease.com for their concept development and research; and to Tom Viola and Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS for their generous lead funding.
 
Special thank you to Professor Pietro Vernazza for his pioneering research and bold advocacy to greatly improve the lives of people living with HIV.  His work is finally being vindicated today. 

Undetectable = Untransmittable 

"Once you begin therapy and you stay on therapy, with full virologic suppression you are

not capable of transmitting HIV to a sexual partner.  With successful ART that individual is

no longer infectious.” 

Dr. Carl Dieffenbach, Director of the Division of AIDS, National Institutes of Health NIH (Aug. 2016)

 
Photo Credit (above): AIDES France- Révélation anti-stigma  campaign.

What is Undetectable = Untransmittable?

(U=U #UequalsU)

Want to join us to change the narrative?

 

We hope you'll find these resources helpful: 

 

Consensus Statement created with global experts to clear up mixed messages about the risk of transmission from a person living with HIV who is on treatment and has an undetectable viral load. What's the conclusion from the experts from six countries? "Negligible", which means insignificant and not worth taking into consideration. This document also includes explanations, quotes, and sources

 

Community Partners - join a global network of organizations dedicated to changing the narrative about people living with HIV by sharing the U=U message. Sign on here.

 

FAQ - more details and sources related to U=U including STIs, viral blips, testing, and condoms. Developed with guidance from Terrence Higgins Trust and Positive Women's Network-USA

 

Accuracy Watchdog & See Something Say Something (S4) - trains and supports people living with HIV and allies with the tools and a safe space to identify, report, and resolve inaccuracies, biases, and stigma related to the "risk" from people with HIV. It will take some time before HIV communications and providers catch up to the science about risk. It's up to us to change the narrative about us. Supported by the Positive Organizing Project of AIDS United and in collaboration with Positive Women's Network-USA . S4 is a sister project of PAC's Accuracy Watchdog which monitors the media for inaccuracies and bias related to HIV prevention with support from Human Rights Campaign. Join S4 today! 

 

Media Coverage - winner of Healthline's 2016 Best use of social media in HIV advocacy, awarded the #1 blog of the year in POZ, and in the top ten stories of the year in POZ, PositiveLite, and TheBody. The #UequalsU activist network has been busy getting the message out on social media and in the HIV/AIDS, niche, and mainstream media. Please use the hashtag #UequalsU to join the movement.

 

What if I Have a Detectable Viral Load? For people living with HIV who are not undetectable, there are highly effective HIV prevention options 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 has the right to full and healthy social, sexual, and reproductive lives. For more, see FAQ 10. 

 

 

Upcoming resources include:

 

  • Policy and communications mapping to ensure that science based messaging about risk is disseminated through multiple sectors in accurate and meaningful ways. 

  • Community forums and online seminars with experts on HIV transmission risk to address any concerns and challenges that folks may have in communicating the science.

  • ASO/CBO and provider pledge and guides to communicate about risk accurately and meaningfully based on science, not stigma.

  • Social marketing campaign and resource center to co-produce and share campaigns and marketing materials with agencies around the world.  PAC is developing an anti-stigma campaign with Publicis advertising agency and AIDS Foundation of Chicago.  The campaign will be available open source for PAC's community partners in the US and abroad to localize.

GMFA, UK  Living With HIV: What you need to know about HIV-undetectable and viral load (Sept., 2016) 

Prevention Access Campaign's Undetectable = Untransmittable (August, 2016)

NIH Interview on Viral Suppression* with Dr. Carl Dieffenbach, Director of the Division of AIDS at National Institutes of Health, U.S. (Nov., 2016)

This is life-changing, stigma-busting, transmission-stopping news!  

 

However, the majority of people living with HIV do not have access to this information or to treatment. There are still many confusing messages, outdated websites, and uninformed policy makers and healthcare workers.

 

*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 under 200 copies/ml also cannot sexually transmit HIV. This is called being "virally suppressed."

Prevention Access Campaign is viral load morally neutral
 
There are many economic, social, structural, and legal barriers that make it difficult or impossible for people living with HIV to get to undetectable. Access to adequate healthcare is a major barrier in many parts of the world, including the U.S. Some people may choose not to be treated or may not be ready to start treatment. Others may start treatment but have challenges with adherence for a variety of reasons including stigma, mental health issues, substance abuse, unstable housing, hostile environments, difficulty paying for medications, drug resistance, and/or intolerable side effects. Whether or not to start treatment is a personal choice, and although it is important for the public health benefits to be understood, it is not a public health responsibility of the individual to initiate or adhere to treatment.

collaborated with leading researchers to help people living with HIV who are on treatment and who have undetectable viral loads answer a fundamental question:  

 

 

The answer is NO. You can feel confident that if you have an undetectable viral load* and you take your medications properly, you cannot pass on HIV to your sexual partners. 

Prevention Access Campaign 

Am I a risk to my partner?

   Stay undetectable.

Stay on treatment.  

Stop transmission.

NAM aidsmap, UK - Social marketing graphics (Feb., 2016)  

International AIDS Society (Int'l) - Social marketing graphics (Feb., 2016)  

*A person is virally suppressed when the amount of HIV in the blood is less than 200 copies/ml. A person is considered undetectable with less than 40 copies/ml (depending on the test used). HIV is not transmittable below either measurement.  

NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, USA HIV Status Neutral Prevention & Treatment Cycle – (Dec., 2016)

Housing Works, USA - Undetectables, an incentive-based program to help people with HIV achieve and maintain viral suppression. (Dec., 2016)

AIDES, FranceRévélation anti-stigma  campaign. Translation: "HIV-positive people on treatment have a lot to share; they can’t share the HIV virus.” (Dec. 2016) 

NOTE:   An undetectable or fully suppressed viral load only prevents HIV transmission. Condoms help prevent HIV as well as other STIs and pregnancy. The HIV prevention method you choose may be different depending upon your sexual practices and relationships. For instance, if you’re having sex with multiple partners or in a non-monogamous relationship, you might consider using PrEP to prevent HIV and/or condoms to help prevent HIV as well as other STIs.
​Thank you to the researchers who endorsed the consensus statement on negligible risk: Dr. Myron Cohen, Dr. Demetre C. Daskalakis, Dr. Andrew Grulich, Dr. Jens Lundgren, Dr. Julio Montaner and Dr. Pietro Vernazza;   to Murray Penner and NASTAD;  and NASTAD; ; to PAC's Founding Task Force; to Professor Carrie Foote (Indiana University-Indianapolis) and Edwin Bernard (HIV Justice Network), who reviewed and provided valuable input on the Primer; Naina Khanna, Jennie Smith-Camejo. Wanda Brendle-Moss, Kamaria Laffrey and so many of the powerful activists of Positive Women's Network - USA; to Jim Pickett of AIDS Foundation of Chicago; to Matt Rose of National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC); to Peter Staley and Noel Gordon; Gus Cairns of NAM-AIDSMap and Mark S. King of MyFabulousDisease.com for their concept development and research; to AIDS United for their support of S4; and to Tom Viola and Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS for their generous lead funding.
 
Special thank you to Professor Pietro Vernazza for his pioneering research and bold advocacy to greatly improve the lives of people living with HIV.  His work is finally being vindicated today. 

#UequalsU #FactsNotFear #ScienceNotStigma

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Banner images feature Love to Love Organization (Uganda); ACCM (Canada); and Housing Works (USA) and Red Ribbon Istanbul (Turkey) at International AIDS Society Conference 2017 (France); other images from Place Tokyo (Japan), Apoyo Positivo  (Spain), and tattoo courtesy of Victor Claros (El Salvador). 
The information provided on Prevention Access Campaign is intended to support rather than replace consultation with a healthcare professional. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment about your particular situation. 
Prevention Access Campaign is fiscally sponsored by Social & Environmental Entrepreneurs, a 501 (c) 3 public charity, and formerly by Housing Works.