The Centers for Disease Control CDC has declared that patients living with HIV cannot transmit the virus to their sexual partners during intercourse if they suppress their viral load with medication.
Until now, CDC has refused to say for certain that people who take HIV medications religiously are not a danger to society. But for years, activists and researchers have continued the campaign for that to change since every clinical trial and cohort study conducted so far shows those with an ‘undetectable’ virus have a 0% risk of transmitting the virus.
Marking the National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day last week, the move has been hailed as a breakthrough against stigma and for HIV prevention by the HIV community.
This means that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has joined other public health agencies and over 400 organizations from nearly 60 countries in affirming that people who take medications are not dangerous to sexual partners, hence, the virus is not transferable.
CDC stated that any person with HIV becomes ‘undetectable’ when treatment suppresses the virus to a level so low in their blood to a point it cannot be detected by measurements.
Studies carried out on over 40,000 people have revealed that if a person is undetectable and stays on prescribed treatment, they cannot pass or transmit HIV on to their partner.
Head of the HIV/AIDS division, Dr Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health was the first to back the statement that ‘U=U’ (undetectable equals untransmitable)
While those concerns remain valid, the CDC and NIH have come to the conclusion that even though someone with HIV could have hidden reservoirs of the virus, evidence is conclusive that those traces are not viable and cannot be transmitted.
The statement also stated: ‘Maybe once in a while there might be an exception but that is always down to a mistake – the person thinks they are undetectable when they are not, or they are not taking their medication as they prescribed.’
‘If they are truly undetectable there is no risk of transmission.’
The CDC campaign is trying to ensure everyone living with HIV has access to the treatment and care to keep them and their partners safe and healthy and make HIV history.