U=U was launched in early 2016 by a group of people living with HIV who created a groundbreaking Consensus Statement with global experts to clear up confusion about the science of U=U. That Statement was the genesis of the U=U movement that is changing the definition of what it means to live with HIV. The movement is sharing the message to dismantle HIV stigma, improve the lives of people living with HIV, and bring us closer to ending the epidemic.
A groundswell of research confirms that when a person living with HIV is on effective treatment, it will reduce the level of HIV to “undetectable” levels which protects their health and makes them incapable of transmitting HIV to their sexual partners, or what we call “Undetectable = Untransmittable: U=U“. As a prevention strategy, this is often referred to as Treatment as Prevention.
The U=U message is an unprecedented opportunity to transform the lives of millions of people with and affected by HIV and to radically transform the field:
Well-being of people with HIV: Transforms the social, sexual, and reproductive lives of people with HIV by freeing them from the shame and fear of sexual transmission to their partners.
HIV stigma: Dismantles the HIV stigma that has been destroying lives and impeding progress in the field since the beginning of the epidemic.
Treatment goals: Reduces the anxiety associated with testing, and encourages people living with HIV to stay on treatment to stay healthy and prevent transmissions to their partners.
Universal access: Offers a critical public health argument in advocacy for universal access to treatment, care, and diagnostics to save lives and prevent new transmissions, bringing us closer to ending the epidemic.