CDC Officially Admits People With HIV Who Are Undetectable Can't Transmit HIV
This is fantastic news for HIV people who are undetectable. Per HIVPlusMag: In a historic letter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unequivocally says "Undetectable Equals Untransmittable" for the first time. Awesome!
After hundreds of other experts and HIV organizations have already signed on to a pledge that recognizes that people living with HIV whose treatment has brought their viral load to an undetectable level — which is nearly half of all HIV-positive people in the U.S. — cannot transmit HIV to any other person, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has come out with the definitive statement on the subject.
It comes at a good time as yesterday was National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Because of this, the CDC issued a memo that stated: "On this day, we join together in taking actions to prevent HIV among gay and bisexual men and ensure that all gay and bisexual men living with HIV get the care they need to stay healthy."
Gay men as a community still have a lot of barriers to overcome as we still make up a big amount of ones who are diagnosed each year. The numbers are a bit startling. "Gay and bisexual men, the CDC noted, continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV, with, "more than 26,000 gay and bisexual men received an HIV diagnosis in 2015, representing two-thirds of all new diagnoses in the United States, and diagnoses increased among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men from 2010 to 2014."
The findings for this are quite disappointing, however the key paragraph in this is not. Noting that research has shown that antiretroviral therapy both keeps people living with HIV healthy and has a preventative effect, the CDC writes, "When [antiretroviral treatment] results in viral suppression, defined as less than 200 copies/ml or undetectable levels, it prevents sexual HIV transmission."
So, basically, having one's HIV suppressed to undetectable levels prevents transmission.
Bottom line is this: No risk means zero risk that someone with HIV can sexually transmit the virus to their HIV-negative partner, even if they are not using condoms or PrEP. Fantastic news!
What are your thoughts about this revelation?