Another Leading HIV Organization Endorses Undetectable = Untransmittable 

Another Leading HIV Organization Endorses Undetectable

NAM AIDSMap, one of the foremost sources of HIV information in the world, has joined the growing list of health experts and organizations around the world to endorse the Undetectable Equals Untransmittable Consensus Statement. The U=U Consensus states that a person living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load cannot transmit the virus to a sexual partner. Being undetectable means one has no risk of transmitting HIV to another person through sexual contact.

The U=U Consensus Statement, issued by the Prevention Access Campaign, is based upon the findings of two major scientific studies on transmission risk HPTN 052 and PARTNER, and a smaller study Opposites Attract, and empirical {not capital E) evidence to date, which showed that there were no transmissions of HIV (within mixed status) couples when the person with HIV was undetectable.

In NAM’s official statement, the organization’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.” Many experts are now using the terminology “a zero chance” in regards to the risk of transmission when a person’s viral load is undetectable.

For those living with HIV, this is vital and life changing information. Not only is this news encouraging in regards to one’s physical health, but it can have an enormous impact to their mental and emotional health, as well — and may even help to eliminate stigma. “The fear of catching HIV from a sexual partner fuels HIV stigma,” Hodson explains. “Which is why it’s so important that the ‘undetectable equals untransmittable' message is heard and understood. Those of us with diagnosed HIV have had to live with the idea that our bodies are dangerous. This has had a profound emotional impact on many people.”

Bruce Richman, executive director of Prevention Access Campaign, unveiled the short documentary film, Undetectable = Untransmittable last year, (the film was produced by Linus Ignatius). Richman says, “Exaggerating the 'danger’ we are to others is an act of violence against all of us with HIV, and makes us vulnerable to a myriad of harms and injustices. We deserve and demand accurate and meaningful information that is not only critical to our social, sexual, and reproductive health, but it is essential to end the epidemic.”

 

 

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