What is the difference between general ARV Adherence and U=U?

They are connected to one another. In fact, If you are currently adhering to you’re ARV regimen, and you know (through regular testing) that your viral load count Is below 50, you already well on your way to becoming proudly U=U.

So what Is U=U anyway?

The first "U" stands for the word Undetectable which really means that the HI Virus In your body is so well suppressed that current testing shows a viral load of below 50. It also means that you have been tested and received below 50 on your viral load test for a duration of 6 months.

It is important to remember the following:

  1. You become undetectable, only when you have kept your viral load below 50 for at least 6 months.
  2. You remain(stay) at undetectable status only when you test your viral load every 3-6 months, the results of these regular tests will let you know that you are still undetectable.

So now, what about condoms and PrEP - do I need to use them to be U=U?

IMPORTANT: Condoms (and PrEP) are additional protections for you and your loved ones.

1. Condoms are good for protection against many sexually transmitted diseases.
The CDC gives a simple explanation, about condoms and STDs. In short,
"Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, reduce the risk of transmission of STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis. STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis are sexually transmitted by genital secretions, such as urethral or vaginal secretions."

2. PrEP Is great for the prevention of HIV transmission to any person who Is negative.

See this video about unprotected sex between partners. What Is safe, how to protect loved ones.

3. PEP

How do i become u=u?

The best way to get and stay at Undetectable equals Untransmittable [U=U] status if you live with HIV is by starting on treatment as soon as you test HIV- positive. It is important to start HIV treatment immediately, waiting to get sick or having symptoms is dangerous for you and anyone you have sex with.

So being undetectable is the first step, then what?

  • Taking ARVs daily is the first thing to do for anybody living with HIV. It is also step 1 towards the future positive U=U status.
  • Getting your viral load tested regularly, keeping your viral load below 50 is future smart. It is also the second step to reaching posU=Uneg status.
  • Adherence and #below50 are important, and you must keep your viral load safely suppressed [below 50] at all times to be posU=Uneg and to stay healthy, but also to ensure a long #futurepositive life for you and those you love.
  • IF you reach 6 months of continuous {all the time] #below50 viral load counts – you are not going to transfer, transmit or give anyone the HIV virus, because you are controlling and suppressing so much of the virus [below 50] that you are sure it cannot pass to anyone you have sex with.
  • Your viral load is #below50 and you adhere to {stick to it] your ARV program daily because you’re #futurepositive and you have kept your viral load supressed for 6 months, it means you are #UequalsU.

How long does it take to get the medicine or ARV’s if I need them?

South Africa has a Test and Treat Policy, which means that if a person tests positive for HIV, they can start taking ARVs immediately, no matter what their CD4 count is. Talk to your healthcare worker to find out which treatment plan will be best for you.

“I cannot recall a serious side effect that may have caused me to say that I don’t want to take treatment anymore. As you continue taking your medication, it’s a routine that reminds you all the time that you are HIV- positive. You get tired of taking the medication. But what is important is the desire that you have for your life that pushes you to say, ‘As much as I am tired, I cannot stop’.” Oziel Mdletshe

    1. Keep viral load below 50;

    2. For at least 6 months;

-  Means that [=] there is 0[%] chance of transmitting hiv to a partner or, loved ones.

    3. In addition, get partner on prep for their protection, and definitely when starting a family;

- YES! There is a world wide movement that has proven again and again that the chance of transmission is 0 percent [%]. You will not give a sexual partner HIV because you are UNDETECTABLE.