How to talk about: Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U)

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HIV treatment can help ensure people living with HIV live long, healthy lives by lowering the amount of virus in the body. When the amount of HIV in the blood is very lowFootnote 1, the virus cannot be passed to others through sex.

This is also known as Undetectable = Untransmittable (U = U), referencing the that the amount of HIV is so low that it is undetectable by many standard HIV tests. Talking about U=U with others will help reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination, and empower people living with HIV.

When talking about U=U, remember to...  

Be inclusive

Sharing this information with everyone will create safer spaces for people living with HIV, normalize discussions around sexual health and foster wellbeing and sex positivity.

Be clear

Use clear, direct, and easy to understand phrases, such as:

Negative attitudes and cautionary phrases that suggest even a slight risk of passing on HIV when on regular treatment will undermine the message.

Be consistent

It is challenging to unlearn misinformation around HIV. Acceptance that medication can prevent HIV from being passed on can take time and repetition, so it is important to consistently share the facts and advocate for those living with HIV.

Be positive

HIV treatment allows people living with HIV to feel empowered to take control of their wellbeing and make informed choices about their sexual health.

Be empathetic

Not everyone can access treatment to achieve and maintain a very low level of HIV. Some people experience a lack of access to medication or healthcare, with some even having to prioritize buying food or paying rent over buying medication. It is important to be mindful and empathetic to those with varied life experiences.

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defined as having less than 200 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood

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