HIV treatment stopping the virus spread

« Undetectable = Untransmittable' (U=U) is a campaign explaining how the sexual transmission of HIV can be stopped ».

In recent years, an overwhelming body of clinical evidence has firmly established the HIV Undetectable=Untransmittable, or U=U concept as scientifically sound. U=U means that people with HIV who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load amount of HIV in the blood by taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) daily as prescribed cannot sexually transmit the virus to others. Thus, treatment for HIV is a powerful arrow in the arsenal of HIV prevention tools. By August 2021 the campaign statement had been endorsed by more than 1000 organizations from over 100 countries in the U=U campaign, including leading scientific and medical organizations such as the International AIDS Society (IAS), UNAIDS, the British HIV Association (BHIVA) and the US CDC.

What is viral load suppression? Antiretroviral therapy keeps HIV from making copies of itself. When a person living with HIV begins an antiretroviral treatment regimen, their viral load drops. For almost everyone who starts taking their HIV medication daily as prescribed, viral load will drop to an undetectable level in six months or less. Continuing to take HIV medications as directed is imperative to stay undetectable. There is effectively no risk of sexual transmission of HIV when the partner living with HIV has achieved an undetectable viral load and then maintained it for at least six months. Most people living with HIV who start taking antiretroviral therapy daily as prescribed achieve an undetectable viral load within one to six months after beginning treatment. A person’s viral load is considered “durably undetectable” when all viral load test results are undetectable for at least six months after their first undetectable test result. This means that most people will need to be on treatment for 7 to 12 months to have a durably undetectable viral load. It is essential to take every pill every day to maintain durably undetectable status.

The impact of U=U is that people who keep their HIV viral load at an undetectable level by consistently taking HIV medications will not pass HIV to others through sex. Even better, by keeping your HIV undetectable, it helps you live a long and healthy life. U=U changes societal attitudes about those who are living with HIV and this is all about the stigma, discrimination and criminalization of HIV. What is even more fabulous is that it’s about changing how, as a person living with HIV, you think about yourself. PLWHA no longer need to fear their bodies and minimize their lives as something less than others.

Engochan Che

A young and talented diva with the mind of working towards success with God's Grace.