Undetectable HIV levels are not transmissible, experts say (Representative image) & nbsp | & nbspPhoto Credit: & nbspGetty Images
Washington DC: National Institutes of Health officials have stated that the results of years of clinical trials have shown that the concept of HIV Undetectable = Untransmittable (U = U) is scientifically valid . According to experts, U = U means that people living with HIV who are able to reach and maintain undetectable viral load, ie the amount of HIV in the blood, taking and adhering to antiretroviral therapy (ART) as prescribed they can not sexually transmit the virus to others.
The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), saw NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) officials review the scientific evidence underlying the theory and discuss the implications of widespread acceptance of the message.
The new commentary saw the director of the NIAID Anthony S. Fauci, MD, and colleagues summarize the results of extensive clinical trials and cohort studies that have validated U = U. The historical HPTN 052 clinical trial funded by the NIH has demonstrated that there were no HIV transmissions linked between HIV-infected heterosexual couples when the partner who lived with HIV had a permanently suppressed viral load. Subsequently, the PARTNER and Opposites Attract studies confirmed these results and extended them to male-male couples.
NIAID officials note that the validation of HIV treatment as a prevention strategy and the acceptance of the U = U concept as scientifically numerous behavioral, social and legal implications and can help control the pandemic of HIV preventing HIV transmission as it can reduce the stigma that many people with HIV face.
The success of U = U as a method of preventing HIV depends on achieving and maintaining an undetectable viral load by taking ART every day as prescribed. However, there are multiple factors that can make it difficult to adhere to the ART. To improve the overall success of U = U, the authors stress the importance of implementing programs that help patients stay in care and face the obstacles to daily therapy.