Living with HIV
Being diagnosed with HIV today is different from the way it was back in the 1980’s and 90’s. Most people commence treatment on diagnosis which is normally one pill a day. It is important that HIV positive people are compliant with their regime and take medication daily.
The majority of HIV Positive People (PLHIV) upon commencing treatment soon maintain an undetectable viral load. The viral load measures the amount of virus in the body. The lower the viral load the less virus one has in their body. Once the viral load falls to less than 40 copies in a sample of blood you are considered to be undetectable. As long as a PLHIV have been undetectable for six months and compliant daily with their medication the risk of passing HIV onto a sexual partner is considered to be almost impossible.
Upon being diagnosed with HIV it’s important to commence treatment, which is normally taking one pill a day, with regular STI testing every 3 months.
TasP – Treatment as Prevention
People living with HIV (PLHIV) no longer need to live in fear of having an active sex life. Over time research has evolved and there is now a number of ways PLHIV can protect their sexual partners from contracting HIV. These strategies include:
- Undetectable viral load
- Treatment as prevention (TasP)
Starting Antiretroviral therapy early and maintaining control of viral load helps prevent the risk of passing on HIV. In other words if someone is HIV+ and has an undetectable viral load it is virtually impossible to pass on the virus.
Campaign: Undetectable = Untransmissable (U=U)
QuAC is a partner of the Prevention Access Campaign which is a multi-agency health equity initiative to end the dual epidemics of HIV and HIV-related stigma by expanding access to HIV prevention and empowering people with and vulnerable to HIV with accurate and meaningful information about their social, sexual, and reproductive health.
Prevention Access Campaign’s Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) is a community of HIV advocates, activists, researchers, and community partners around the world uniting to clarify and disseminate the revolutionary but largely unknown fact that people living with HIV on effective treatment do not sexually transmit HIV.
U=U was launched in early 2016 by a group of people living with HIV who created a groundbreaking consensus statement with global experts to clear up confusion about risk and to clarify the science of U=U. That Statement was the genesis of the U=U movement that is sharing the U=U message to dismantle HIV stigma, improve the lives of people living with HIV, and bring us closer to ending the epidemic.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
PLHIV should be tested on a regular basis as directed by their health professional. Testing should involve a full Sexual Health check including STI’s and Hepatitis B and C.