Undetectable equals untransmittable. It's a short phrase that HIV researchers and prevention experts believe represents one of the biggest steps we've ever seen toward eradicating HIV.
The scientific consensus behind “U=U” means people living with HIV who respond to antiretroviral medication and achieve an "undetectable" status do not sexually transmit the virus.*
Since there is no cure or vaccine for HIV, experts from across the globe agree the best way to prevent new infections is to ensure those who are HIV positive receive consistent and effective treatment.
As "Closer Look" kicked off its week-long special, “Ending HIV in Atlanta,” hosts Rose Scott and Jim Burress found out more about the U=U scientific consensus. In this segment, they spoke with NASTAD executive director Murray Penner and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases [NIAID] director, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
* According to Prevention Access Campaign:
An undetectable viral load is typically under 40 copies/ml depending on the diagnostic tests. However, studies show a person living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with a viral load of 200 copies/ml or less also cannot sexually transmit HIV. This is called being "virally suppressed." For the purposes of the U=U campaign and any Prevention Access Campaign materials, the term “undetectable” is used synonymously with the term “virally suppressed,” meaning a person living with HIV with a consistent viral load of 200 copies/ml or less cannot transmit HIV.