The world needs good news. This year, we’ve got it: People living with HIV who are on treatment and have an undetectable viral load cannot sexually transmit HIV. In other words, Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U).
But not everyone knows U=U yet. So World AIDS Day is an excellent opportunity to share the hopeful and revolutionary news!
YOU’VE GOT BACKUP!
The world’s most influential medical and scientific establishments have endorsed U=U. While they can’t officially join the U=U campaign as community partners, they all now use clear language and endorse U=U in their official communications, which are summarized below. For more examples of the language and sources, check out PAC’s “Flagship Endorsements.”
World Health Organization (WHO) includes U=U in their 2021 prevention, testing, treatment, service delivery and monitoring guidelines. This is hugely important for health ministries and healthcare associations and professionals that look to the WHO for guidance. WHO also issued a 2020 statement endorsing U=U and a 2018 statement encouraging education about the prevention benefits of viral suppression.
With U=U, HIV treatment has transformed the HIV prevention landscape.
—World Health Organization (WHO)
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) requires U=U education of all 50+ PEPFAR countries. This means that if a country is funded by PEPFAR, they must educate about U=U. PEPFAR’s comprehensive U=U guidelines describe Prevention Access Campaign as “the leading site for U=U information, resources, and news.”
The idea that someone living with HIV, who is both on treatment and virally undetectable, cannot transmit the virus to a sexual partner is revolutionary. —President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages flexible messaging, including the use of Undetectable = Untransmittable/U=U and Prevention Access Campaign materials. The CDC agrees that U=U is 100% effective at preventing sexual HIV transmission. They use clear language and refer to the community-led U=U movement and Prevention Access Campaign in their latest campaigns.
We urge you to share this groundbreaking science with your communities. You can use CDC-developed materials, as well as materials developed by community groups such as Prevention Action Campaign, the organization responsible for the U=U campaign (undetectable=untransmittable). —U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) supports U=U, especially on social media, and successfully helped lead the United Nations to include U=U in their UN 2021 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.
With 20 years of evidence demonstrating that HIV treatment is highly effective in reducing the transmission of HIV, the evidence is now clear that people living with HIV with an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV sexually. —Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
CELEBRATE U=U ON WORLD AIDS DAY AND BEYOND
Here are some examples of how to integrate U=U into messages we hear each year on World AIDS Day, observed each December 1. Feel free to copy and paste any of it!
HIV has changed.
We have revolutionary news! Effective HIV treatment enables people living with HIV to live long and healthy lives, and treatment also makes it impossible to pass on HIV through sex. Today, people with HIV can live and love just like everyone else and never have to worry about passing on HIV to their partners.
HIV has changed! When treatment reduces HIV to undetectable levels, people with HIV stay healthy and can’t transmit HIV. In other words, Undetectable = Untransmittable or U=U. #UequalsU #WorldAIDSDay
Revolutionary news! HIV treatment enables ppl living w/HIV to live long and healthy lives and makes it impossible to pass on HIV to their sex partners. Ppl w/HIV can live & love just like everyone else & never have to worry about passing on HIV. #UequalsU #WorldAIDSDay
We have the tools to end the epidemic.
Ensuring access to effective treatment and care for people living with HIV will dramatically improve their quality of life and end new transmissions. Dr. Anthony S Fauci has said that “U=U is the foundation of being able to end the epidemic.” The end is in sight with U=U and other effective HIV prevention methods such as access to sterile syringes, PrEP, PEP, and condoms.
When ppl living w/HIV have an undetectable viral load they stay healthy & can’t pass on HIV. Undetectable=Untransmittable! Dr. Anthony Fauci said U=U is the foundation of being able to end the epidemic.” The end is in sight with #UequalsU, #PrEP, #PEP & #condoms! #Choices #WorldAIDSDay
HIV stigma is the greatest challenge to ending the epidemic.
Stigma continues to harm people living with HIV and prevent progress toward ending the HIV epidemic. It scares people away from testing for HIV and, if diagnosed, getting proper treatment and care. People living with HIV worldwide suffer from the impacts of stigma: social rejection, isolation, depression, intimate partner violence, prosecution, and murder, No one living with HIV is a danger. Sharing up-to-date information about HIV — that people living with HIV can live long and healthy lives and can’t pass on HIV — can help end HIV stigma and the epidemic.
Stigma harms ppl living w/HIV worldwide. #TackleHIV stigma by sharing what it means to live w/HIV today. Ppl living w/HIV can live long & healthy lives and can’t pass it on #UequalsU #WorldAIDSDay
Let’s commit to ending inequalities.
When people with HIV have the support to stay healthy, they can’t pass on HIV. So ensuring access to quality treatment and care for all people living with HIV will save lives and prevent new transmissions. But we are leaving people behind. [Discuss the data relative to your communications]. Let’s recommit to end health inequalities. This will save lives and end new transmissions, bringing us to our goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
Ensuring ALL ppl living w/HIV have access to quality care will save lives & prevent new transmissions. Let’s recommit to end health inequalities to improve quality of life for PLHIV and end new transmissions, bringing us to our goal of ending AIDS by 2030 #UequalsU #WorldAIDSDay
We’re grateful to all of the extraordinary U=U champions who are working hard to ensure that U=U becomes common knowledge worldwide. We envision a world in which all people living with HIV have the treatment and care to stay healthy and not have to worry about passing on HIV. We look forward to continuing to serve alongside you in 2022. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any support as you share the revolutionary news on World AIDS Day and beyond!
Prevention Access Campaign
About Prevention Access Campaign
Prevention Access Campaign’s (PAC) collaborative advocacy, education, and communication initiatives have resulted in historic global changes to the official risk assessments of HIV sexual transmission. We collaborate with influential leaders at all levels — from grassroots to government to global — to affect systemic changes that improve the quality of life for people living with HIV and strengthen efforts to end the epidemic.
PAC launched the community-led U=U movement in the summer of 2016 with HIV activists, researchers, public health officials, and other allies. We advocated for a global scientific consensus to confirm that people living with HIV who are on treatment and have an undetectable viral load can’t pass on HIV through sex. As of today, over 1,000 governments and health ministries, research and medical organizations, private industry partners, and community organizations in 105 countries have signed on to the movement. The tremendous growth is a testament to the power of science and people living with HIV. Together, we’re changing what it means to live and love with HIV.