Canada’s Minister of Health Honorable Ginette Petitpas Taylor officially endorsed the Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) campaign. As mentioned in hivplusmag.com, the Minister held a roundtable with citizens from across Canada to discuss life living with HIV, looking for a better understanding of their experiences and a possible way to lessen the sigma of HIV/AIDS as stigma leads to people not reaching out for treatment, support, prevention, etc.
Canada is committed to preventing new HIV infections and achieving our global targets. The courage of people living with HIV inspires me. The continued support of initiatives like the Undetectable = Untransmittable campaign are critical to ending HIV-related stigma. Ending stigma will also go a long way in helping us prevent new infections, reach the undiagnosed, and ensure that people living with HIV receive the care, treatment and support they need. – Minister Taylor
What is U=U?
Scientific advances have shown that antiretroviral therapy (ART) preserves the health of people living with HIV. We also have strong evidence of the prevention effectiveness of ART. When ART results in viral suppression, defined as less than 200 copies/ml or undetectable levels, it prevents sexual HIV transmission. Across three different studies, including thousands of couples and many thousand acts of sex without a condom or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), no HIV transmissions to an HIV-negative partner were observed when the HIV-positive person was virally suppressed. This means that people who take ART daily as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner. – CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
Will this move of Canada signing on to support and educate about U=U lead to other federal health ministers worldwide following suit? If they had someone like Ginette Petitpas Taylor, they may. Here she is in an interview from 2017 on World AIDS Day and what she feels Canada's Commitments would be for this year, 2018.
ABC7 Television / Digital Host & Producer, Karl Schmid (@karljschmid) is making a move to help U=U become more well known here in the US and Los Angeles as he shared the video below on his Instagram.
Congratulations #LosAngeles for making December 4th U=U Awareness Day!
Do you think U=U would ever be supported by the US Government? Your nation's government?
Do you personally embrace U=U? Or are you just not there yet?