Undetectable = Untransmittable and the U.S. Ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative

Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) is a necessary and key component of plans to End the HIV Epidemic, emphasizing the important role of viral suppression. Jurisdictions across the country are sharing U=U information as an integral part of three of the four pillars of their plans. This document can assist health departments and community-based organizations in their efforts to improve viral suppression, prevent new transmissions, and reduce HIV stigma.

Getting to an undetectable status not only allows people with HIV to live long, healthy lives, it also is 100% effective at preventing sexual transmission of HIV. In order to end the HIV epidemic, we must invest in the wellbeing of people with HIV. By increasing access and removing barriers to treatment and care, we will save lives and prevent new transmissions. We call this the U=U Public Health Strategy.   

In February 2021, The Lancet published a special issue on HIV in the USA, with six articles on the current state of the epidemic in view of Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE), the federal effort to reduce new HIV transmissions in the US by 75% in five years and by 90% in ten years. The Lancet series concludes with a “Call to Action” outlining the measures needed for EHE to succeed. In developing this call to action, leading medical experts from major universities were joined by leaders from advocacy organizations including the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, AmFAR, AVAC, the Black AIDS Institute, and Prevention Access Campaign. Among the many items addressed in the call to action, U=U has a critical role to play.

If you have any questions related to U=U and EHE, please contact us.