Director of Communications
March 16, 2017
APLA Health Joins With More Than 100 Organizations to Affirm That “Undetectable = Untransmittable”
Prevention Access Campaign consensus statement states that people living with HIV who have an undetectable viral load have a negligible risk of sexual transmission of the virus
APLA Health joins public health experts and HIV advocates around the world in affirming that people living with HIV who have achieved a sustained, undetectable viral load have a negligible chance of transmitting HIV to their sexual partners. This declaration of “Undetectable = Untransmittable” reinforces APLA Health’s longstanding work to improve the health of people living with HIV, dramatically reduce new HIV infections, and end HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
The Prevention Access Campaign consensus statement is based on both real world experience and research including PARTNER, HPTN 052, Opposites Attract, and the Swiss Statement. In the most recent PARTNER study, there were zero transmissions out of 58,000 condomless sex acts between people living with HIV with undetectable viral loads and their partners who were HIV-negative. A person with HIV becomes undetectable when antiretroviral therapy suppresses the amount of virus in their blood so low that it cannot be detected by measurements.
“Research demonstrating that people living with HIV who are virally suppressed cannot transmit HIV to others is one of the most important developments in HIV prevention in the last decade,” APLA Health Chief Executive Officer Craig E. Thompson says. “We now know that antiretroviral therapy not only improves the health of individuals living with HIV, but also prevents new infections. It is now more important than ever that we ensure universal access to antiretroviral therapy and educate our communities about the public health benefits of effective HIV treatment.”
The Prevention Access Campaign consensus statement reads as follows: “People living with HIV on [antiretroviral therapy] with an undetectable viral load in their blood have a negligible risk of sexual transmission of HIV. Depending on the drugs employed it may take as long as six months for the viral load to become undetectable. Continued and reliable HIV suppression requires selection of appropriate agents and excellent adherence to treatment. HIV viral suppression should be monitored to assure both personal health and public health benefits.”
You can learn more about the Prevention Access Campaign at www.preventionaccess.org.
APLA Health’s mission is to achieve health care equity and promote well-being for the LGBT and other underserved communities and people living with and affected by HIV. We are a nonprofit, federally qualified health center serving more than 14,000 people annually. We provide 20 different services from 14 locations throughout Los Angeles County, including: medical, dental, and behavioral health care; PrEP counseling and management; health education and HIV prevention; and STD screening and treatment. For people living with HIV, we offer housing support; benefits counseling; home health care; and the Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; among several other critically needed services. Additionally, we are leaders in advocating for policy and legislation that positively impacts the LGBT and HIV communities, provide capacity-building assistance to health departments across the country, and conduct community-based research on issues affecting the communities we serve. For more information, please visit us at www.aplahealth.org.