Undetectable means a person can't transmit HIV to another person. Yay, Science!
Undetectable = Untransmittable: Science, not Fear.
Treatment is Key: for you - and - him / her / them.
My Story - My Virus - won't hurt you.
Science, not Stigma! Go find love!
U=U: The second best reason to start treatment. U R the first.
The U=U POD is out in the Phoenix LGBTQ Community:
THE THIRD WEEK OF EVERY MONTH
Medical Provider Assistance, Financial Assistance, ZERO Stigma Campaign, FREE Pill Keepers & Pill Boxes, and Linkage to Care Assistance
WHAT IS U=U?
Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U) is a global consensus statement from hundreds of experts, research, HIV organizations, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stating that a person living with HIV who has a sustained, undetectable viral load is not able to transmit the virus to an HIV-negative partner. Period.
GO FIND LOVE!
With condoms, PrEP, and U=U, there are more ways than ever to prevent the spread of HIV – regardless of status. So go ahead, go find love!
Test Your Knowledge!
ROAD TO UNDETECTABLE
ROAD TO UNDETECTABLE
Like diabetes or other chronic conditions, HIV can be highly managed if a person seeks treatment. HIV medications prevent the virus from replicating inside the body and keeps the virus at-bay. A person living with HIV is considered to have an ‘undetectable’ viral load when antiretroviral (ARV) treatment has brought the level of virus in their body to such low levels that blood tests cannot detect it.
Most people living with HIV can achieve an undetectable viral load by adhering to ongoing antiretroviral treatment.
There is no risk of passing on HIV if your doctor has confirmed that you are undetectable (or “virally suppressed”), you continue taking your treatment and attend regular viral load monitoring appointments.
You’ve gotta stick with it – if you stop taking your medication then your viral load will go back up again.
HIV care is available to everyone – with or without insurance and regardless of your immigration status. Find an HIV provider here or learn more about accessing care if you need assistance.
QUICK START: HIV Treatment
Do you have insurance, no insurance, or insurance that doesn’t cover enough? If you have insurance and a primary care provider, make an appointment with your provider or find an HIV specialty provider here.
If you don’t have insurance, or if your insurance doesn’t cover enough for you to pay for treatment, call Care Directions’ Central Eligibility Office anytime Monday – Thursday 8am – 4pm at 602-212-3788 to set up an intake appointment to qualify for Ryan White Program Medical Services.
Before going to your first (or any) medical appointment, make a list of questions you have about HIV or your treatment. Be honest with your provider and ask questions if you don’t understand something. Ask your provider the best way to contact them if you have questions along the way!
Your first appointment may be longer than a typical appointment. Follow-up appointments will be needed every 3-6 months. They’ll be shorter, but will give you an opportunity to review your previous lab results with your provider to stay on-track with treatment.
Step 3: Labs
Each time you visit your provider, they’ll want to run labs to ensure your treatment plan is working. They’ll draw blood samples to check your immune system and viral load (the amount of HIV in your bloodstream), screen for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), tuberculosis, hepatitis, etc.
If you receive Ryan White Program Services, be sure to keep your lab results handy – you’ll need them every 6 months for your renewals.
Be proud of your results! Undetectable not only means the virus is untransmittable to your partner(s), but it also means there is less HIV in your body. Less HIV means less damage to your immune system, allowing you to stay healthy!
Step 4: Take It!
It probably goes without saying, but HIV treatment will only work if you take your medications every day!
Find a routine that works for you to take the medication around the same time each day. For instance, keep the bottle next to your toothbrush, coffee mug, or keys – something you go to each day. Use a medication reminder app on your phone, or pick-up a weekly pill box organizer! Whatever works for you, stick with it!