This Pride season, a national LGBTQ advocacy group is promoting more than queer equality. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation joined the U=U National Task Force as an inaugural member and will help promote modern HIV prevention, notably the fact that people with HIV who take medication and maintain an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV sexually, often referred to as Undetectable Equals Untransmittable, or U=U.
The task force’s efforts will include educating policymakers, Congress members and the public not just about U=U but also pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, the daily pills and long-acting injectables available to people at risk for HIV that keep them negative.
Organized by the Prevention Access Campaign (PAC), the U=U National Task Force also includes the HIV organizations NMAC, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Southern AIDS Coalition and The Well Project as well as the LGBTQ and social justice advocacy group Equality Federation.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The U=U National Task Force was launched in collaboration with the Congressional HIV Caucus and was announced earlier this month at the nation’s capital, as you can see in the Facebook video posted below by activist Deondre Moore:
“We are proud to once again join forces with PAC and partner organizations to uplift the powerful message of U=U,” said Torrian L. Baskerville, HRC’s director of HIV and health equity, in a press statement. “HRC will continue in our mission, alongside task force partners, to educate and push forward on full implementation of U=U, from the federal government to community-based organizations. This is a message that we already know has the power to break down barriers rooted in decades-long stigma, especially for Black and Brown LGBTQ+ individuals living with HIV.”
What’s more, HIV meds offer additional benefits. For example, People with HIV who are undetectable also experience slower disease progression, enjoy better overall health and are less likely to develop opportunistic illnesses.
According to the press statement, the U=U National Task Force will work toward the following goals:
- Educate policymakers and the public about U=U (and PrEP) as the path to transform lives and end the epidemic in America;
- Educate policymakers about the social, economic and public health benefits of increasing access and removing the social, structural and legal barriers to HIV treatment, care and services;
- Move the U.S. federal health departments to integrate U=U fully into the domestic HIV response;
- Secure commitments and accountability structures to take the actions outlined in the Multinational U=U Call to Action (MUCA);
- Document and showcase the U.S. leadership’s scale-up as a model to move other governments.
Launched by PAC in 2016, the U=U campaign has since grown to an international community. To learn more, check out the “Undetectable = Untransmittable” blog on POZ, where you’ll find a collection of posts about a global community educating about prevention and fighting against stigma. Also click #Undetectable and #U=U, where you’ll find articles such as “U=U 101” and “New HIV Cases Decline, but Disparities Remain.”