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U = U: What Is “U equals U”?

When a person living with HIV is taking HIV medication, the virus will be suppressed to the point where there is not enough HIV in their bloodstream for a test to measure. This is called Undetectable Viral Load. When a person is living with an Undetectable Viral Load they will experience greatly improved health outcomes, and also that person cannot transmit HIV to a partner who is HIV-negative.

HIV positive people, health and community organisations often talk about this ground-breaking news using the simple phrase “Undetectable Equals Untransmittable” or U=U.

U=U means a person living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load cannot pass on HIV to their sexual partners.

U=U has been confirmed by all the available research on the topic over the past 10 years.

U= U has been endorsed throughout the world by public health and scientific bodies in the HIV field. In Australia it has been endorsed by the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM), the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisation (AFAO), and the National Association of People Living With HIV Australia (NAPWHA). The AIDS Action Council has also endorsed this position.

Please click here to access ASHM. This guide includes a summary of the scientific research backing the knowledge that U=U: Undetectable = Untransmittable: A guide for clinicians

For HIV Positive People:

The implications of U=U are highly significant. For many years, being HIV positive has carried stigma, mainly because the person with HIV being was perceived as a risk to others. Understanding U=U can greatly reduce anxiety about HIV transmission. It can empower people with HIV to be comfortable and confident to pursue a fulfilling sex life and secure relationships.

 

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