— “It’s 2020, and by now, we should all know what a HIV Undetectable (U=U) status means. If you don’t, keep on reading!
Unfortunately, a HIV positive status still remains stigmatized within our society. But with the innovation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), those who are HIV positive can safely have sex without fear of transmitting the virus to their partners.
In two large studies with thousands of couples who were not using condoms or PrEP, no transmission of HIV was observed from HIV positive partners to their respective HIV negative partners so long as they maintained a HIV undetectable viral load whilst adhering to ART.
An undetectable viral load occurs when ART is taken consistently. This will bring the level of HIV to such low levels that blood tests will not detect it; HIV antibody testing will still remain positive.
HIV is spread through bodily fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal/anal secretions and breast milk. This can occur during sex, sharing needles, mother to child and blood transfusions.
HIV is not passed through urine, saliva or tears. You cannot catch HIV by kissing, hugging or shaking hands with someone who has HIV.
If you are HIV positive please know you are loved and accepted by your community. As a healthcare provider, I cannot stress the importance of taking your ART as prescribed to promote your overall wellbeing.“ — by Dr Marcus Tellez, D.O., M.P.H. @doctor.tellez #whatisrememberedlives