Toronto Public Health joined hundreds of organizations in endorsing the global Undetectable=Untransmittable (U=U) campaign to reduce HIV stigma on Dec. 1 in recognition of World AIDS Day. This global campaign acknowledges the scientific evidence demonstrating that medicine to treat HIV can eliminate the risk of transmission to sexual partners. This year marks the 30th anniversary of World Aids Day and the theme this year is “Know your status.”
“Evidence shows that people living with HIV and who are taking treatment as prescribed by their health care provider can now live longer and healthier lives. It also indicates that when people have an undetectable amount of HIV in their blood they cannot pass this virus to their sexual partners,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. “Campaigns like this are a great way to promote this important message and help reduce stigma. I’m so pleased to endorse the consensus statement today and acknowledge the incredible gains we have made in reducing the risk of HIV transmission in our community.”
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the immune system by destroying white blood cells that protect the body from infections. HIV is transmitted through specific exposure to blood or body fluids from an infected person.
The U=U campaign was launched in 2016 by global HIV experts. It highlights that the HIV virus is considered no longer transmissible sexually when it is no longer detected in the blood as a result of treatment. The campaign also promotes awareness that people living with HIV have a right to accurate and meaningful information about their social, sexual and reproductive health. Currently, 791 organizations from 95 countries have endorsed U=U.
More information about HIV is available at bit.ly/2PWQVed.
More information about the U=U campaign and the consensus statement is available at preventionaccess.org.