U=U Continues to Unite HIV Community, Dismantle Stigma Around the Epidemic

Article

The Undectectable = Untransmittable (U=U) campaign started in early 2016 and has been sharing the message to dismantle the stigma surrounding HIV ever since. More than 970 community partners from 101 countries have come together to clear up the confusion about the science behind U=U.

Prevention Access Campaign, a health equity initiative intended to end the dual epidemics of HIV and HIV-related stigma, has created a foundation to redefine what it means to live with HIV globally.1

The Undectectable = Untransmittable (U=U) campaign started in early 2016 and has been sharing the message to dismantle the stigma surrounding HIV ever since. More than 970 community partners from 101 countries have come together to clear up the confusion about the science behind U=U.1

U=U is defined as people with HIV who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load by taking antiretroviral (ART) therapy daily as prescribed cannot sexually transmit the virus to others.2

The U=U campaign provides a prevention strategy to those whose lives are affected by the virus, such as:

  • Reducing the anxiety associated with testing and encouraging people living with HIV to stay on their treatment.
  • Offering a critical public health argument in advocacy for universal access to treatment, care, and diagnostics, preventing new transmissions.
  • Transforming the social, sexual, and reproductive lives of people with HIV.
  • Disassembling the HIV stigma that has been in the field since the start of the epidemic.1

Although this message is important to society, it is still not widely known due to various barriers in the health care landscape, such as political, economic, and systemic obstacles. Due to these barriers, the risk from people with HIV has been exaggerated, putting many people with HIV at risk of harm and injustice.1

To break through these barricades, the Prevention Access Campaign has created multiple resources for the public to use for free to help educate and advocate for HIV. For example, the CDC has developed the U=U Strategic Toolkit to further help deliver accurate information about U=U. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services has developed treatment guidelines to prevent further transmission of HIV with ART.1

REFERENCE

Prevention Access Campaign: About U=U. https://www.preventionaccess.org/about. Published 2017. Accessed March 3, 2020.

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