OLYMPIA — The Washington State Department of Health announced today that it has joined the HIV prevention campaign Undetectable = Untransmittable, also known as U=U.
U=U describes the scientific findings that people living with HIV, who have undetectable levels of HIV in their blood, have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their partners. Because treatment keeps these people from transmitting the virus, the concept is known as “treatment as prevention.”
“People living with HIV continue to live with the stigma that they are infectious and possibly harmful to their partners. This new evidence is critical to changing public perception of HIV transmissibility” said John Wiesman, Washington’s secretary of health.
As work to End AIDS in Washington continues, it’s crucial to promote consistent and correct condom use, routine HIV screening, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent sexual transmission of HIV.
Washington is the sixth state health department to join the campaign along with 18 other state and local health departments, and more than 700 organizations from 90 countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health endorse the science behind U=U.