Oklahoma Endorses Undetectable=Untransmissable Campaign for Persons Living With HIV
Oklahoma has joined a number of other states, national health leaders and organizations in endorsing the consensus statement indicating zero risk of sexual transmission of HIV from a person living with HIV who has an undetectable viral load. To promote awareness, the Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Service is sharing the Undetectable=Untransmittable (U=U) campaign.
The phrase “U=U” is being communicated by CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, NIAID Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, international institutions including the International AIDS Society, and more than 800 organizations from nearly 100 countries.
The evidence-based statement stems from confirmation that the risk of HIV transmission from a person living with HIV who is on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and has achieved an undetectable viral load in their blood for at least six months is non-existent. When the partner with HIV has an undetectable viral load, it protects his/her own health and prevents new HIV infections.
The U=U campaign is important in educating people living with HIV as well as medical providers about the extent to which successful treatment prevents HIV transmission. Understanding that successful ART prevents transmission can help reduce HIV-related stigma and encourage patients to follow a successful treatment regimen, get regular lab work, and stay in care. It should be noted that U=U only applies to sexual transmission of HIV, not to breastfeeding or needle sharing. Condoms are still needed to prevent other STDs.
For treatment resources, clinicians are encouraged to call the Oklahoma State Department of Health Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Service at (405) 271-4636.
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