Undetectable = Untransmittable
No matter who you are, knowing the facts will make you a stronger ally in the fight against HIV.
With Medication, You Cannot Transmit HIV!
- Since 2014, The Undetectables has helped people living with HIV achieve viral suppression.
- People living with HIV who take their medications as prescribed and have an undetectable viral load cannot pass on HIV to their sexual partners (Undetectable = Untransmittable or U=U).
Freedom and Hope
- After decades of fear of transmitting the virus, U=U shows there is now a way for people living with HIV to have healthy sexual and reproductive lives without fear of stigma and discrimination.
- Having a suppressed or undetectable viral load also stops HIV from progressing, so sticking to HIV medication allows people to live long, healthy lives.
- The science is clear, and U=U is supported by the facts.
- In three major studies where virally suppressed partners had HIV-negative sexual partners, there was not a single case of HIV transmission.
- This means that HIV medications are effective, and people with HIV and their partners have a way to show HIV who's boss!
You Can Help to End the Epidemic
- When people with HIV do their part to remain undetectable, they are playing an essential role in stopping the AIDS epidemic.
- Learn more about how you can make a difference by downloading the U=U PDF below.
“The science really does verify and validate U=U. From a practical standpoint, the risk is zero.
So, don’t worry about it.”
-Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
What is a viral load?
The Relentless Advocate
An HIV Viral Load (also known as “VL”) is the amount of HIV that appears in the bloodstream. An undetectable viral load means lower amounts of the HIV virus are present. The lowest levels of a detectable viral load is about 40-75 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood. The highest measure can be over 500,000 copies of HIV per milliliter. Remember — being undetectable is a huge achievement and means that your body is responding well to medication and ongoing treatment, but don’t forget to follow up once you’ve reached undetectable status to make sure that your viral load is still under control.
What does viral suppression mean?
Suppressing your viral load means using HIV medication (antiretrovirals) to control the virus and put it in its place. Research focusing on HIV and viral load suppression is happening every day — meaning that more accurate tests and treatment are always within reach.
What should I do when I experience setbacks or disappointments in my treatment?
The Gender Warrior
Remember, the entire Undetectables community has your back! There have been countless others who have successfully suppressed their viral loads, and now, they’re here to help you suppress yours. Organizations like Housing Works Community Healthcare are leading the conversation on HIV/AIDS, while securing funding and government support in order to make medical treatment and medications available to all, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation or living conditions.
How long does it take to achieve viral suppression?
The Relentless Advocate
A person with HIV who takes their medication as prescribed usually achieves an undetectable viral load between one and six months after initiating treatment
How often should someone with HIV see their doctor to get their viral load tested?
The Harm Reducer
Continued viral load monitoring is necessary to stay healthy and stop HIV transmission. Most doctors recommend having a viral load test once every six months.
What about condoms or PrEP?
Condoms or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) are not necessary to prevent HIV when the partner living with HIV takes medication as prescribed and has a suppressed or undetectable viral load. However, having a suppressed or undetectable viral load only prevents HIV, not other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unintended pregnancy. Condoms or PrEP can be added in cases where either partner is looking for an added sense of security.
Isn't there still HIV in semen?
When HIV is undetectable in the blood, there may still be traces of HIV RNA and DNA in the semen. This does not mean that a person can transmit HIV. A person living with HIV still cannot transmit HIV, even if there is HIV in the semen, as long as they take their medication as prescribed and have a suppressed or undetectable viral load.
Tell me more about the U=U science
A great deal of clinical and observational evidence has been building to support U=U. Recent findings from four major studies conducted from 2007 - 2016 demonstrate that effective treatment prevents HIV sexual transmission. These studies were HPTN 052, PARTNER, PARTNER 2, and Opposites Attract. The studies reported close to 80,000 acts of vaginal or anal intercourse without a condom between HIV negative and HIV positive partners. There was not a single HIV transmission in any of the studies when the HIV positive partner had a suppressed or undetectable viral load.
Tell me more about who is involved in U=U and their reach
The Relentless Advocate
U=U is a global campaign endorsed by a growing community of over 700 experts, public health bodies, and HIV organizations from more than 100 countries. Join the community and raise awareness about U=U today!