GABORONE, Botswana – Nov 1, 2017 – The International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) and Prevention Access Campaign (PAC) announced today a groundbreaking partnership that will amplify the Undetectable=Untransmittable (U=U) message among communities of people living with HIV worldwide.
U=U reinforces the public health benefits of antiretroviral therapy (ART), affirming that a person living with HIV on ART with an undetectable viral load cannot sexually transmit HIV. The growing campaign has already been endorsed by more than 450 community partners in 65 countries, and the U=U science confirmed by leading public health bodies including UNAIDS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), and the International AIDS Society (IAS).
“When people in power, like U.S. House Representative Betty Price, are still asking in 2017, if there are ‘any methods, legally, that we could use that would curtail the spread [of HIV]?’ the answer is a bold YES! – provide the medicine needed to be undetectable. This partnership is timely and critical; there is no question that communities should know the science behind what U=U means. This knowledge alone can be life-changing – not only for people living with HIV, but their families, friends, and loved ones,” said Solange Baptiste, ITPC Executive Director.
The collaboration builds on the work of both organizations and will equip activists across the globe to integrate U=U into their on-going advocacy efforts to improve access to optimal HIV treatment. The partnership will enable the U=U message to better reach and be utilized by those who it concerns most: communities.
“The ITPC team and those of us who are a part of the U=U campaign share the same belief in international solidarity among people living with and affected by HIV,” said Bruce Richman, Executive Director of PAC. “With its roots in the Global South and an internationally recognized track record for capacity building and community engagement, ITPC is the ideal implementing partner to empower communities with U=U knowledge and strategies in accurate and meaningful ways.”
The partnership will work in parallel with PAC’s existing partnership with the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), focused on providing U=U training and education for clinical and allied health professionals to integrate into clinical practice in specialized and primary care settings.
Note: An undetectable viral load is typically under 40 copies/ml depending on the diagnostic tests. However, studies show a person living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with a viral load of 200 copies/ml or less also cannot sexually transmit HIV. This is called being “virally suppressed.” For the purposes of the U=U campaign and any Prevention Access Campaign materials, the term “undetectable” is used synonymously with the term “virally suppressed,” meaning a person living with HIV with a viral load of 200 copies/ml or less cannot transmit HIV.
The International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) is a worldwide coalition of people living with HIV and community advocates working to achieve universal access to optimal HIV treatment of those in need. Formed in 2003 by a group of 125 HIV activists from 65 countries at a meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, ITPC actively advocates for treatment access in eight regions across the globe. ITPC believes that the fight for HIV treatment remains one of the most significant global social justice issues. For more information about ITPC, please visit www.itpcglobal.com.
The Prevention Access Campaign’s Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U)campaign is an international community of HIV advocates, activists, researchers, and over 450 community partners from more than 65 countries uniting to disseminate the scientifically supported message that people living with HIV who are on effective antiretroviral therapy with an undetectable viral load do not sexually transmit HIV. For more information about the Prevention Access Campaign, please visit www.preventionaccess.org.
This article previously appeared at ITPC Global.org, here.