What Does Undetectable Equals Untransmittable Mean
U=U is the name of a public health campaign that has really taken off in the last year and is accepted and endorsed by organizations worldwide. It shares the message that people who are undetectable do not transmit HIV to other people.
This campaign promotes key medical information that is important for people living with HIV to know, but it is also an important concept that reduces HIV stigma in the community. The phrase really encompasses an idea that people who are living with HIV can be free from HIV stigma, and can live their lives more fully, with less fear, worry, and inhibition.
Can You Have Hiv For 11 Years And Not Know
A person with HIV may experience mild symptoms, such as swollen glands, in the first few years after infection. People who are not aware they are HIV-positive may not realize they are infected because the symptoms of HIV can be mild at first. HIV can be spread without even knowing it is present in them.
Does Undetectable Mean Untransmittable
Undetectable describes when the copies of HIV in a persons blood is so low that it does not show up on a lab test. The test measures a persons viral load. Untransmittable means that a person living with HIV has virtually no chance of transmitting the HIV virus to someone else through sexual contact.
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Sport And Transmission Of Hiv And Hepatitis
The risk of transmission of HIV or hepatitis B or C from an infected player is:
- negligible for other athletes and players involved in contact sports
- negligible for first aid officers who follow infection control guidelines
- zero for coaches, trainers, officials and spectators.
HIV and hepatitis B and C cannot spread through:
- sweat or saliva from other sportspeople
- sharing drink bottles with team members
- hugging or shaking hands.
About Undetectable And Hiv
Chances are youve probably heard of the term undetectable, undetectable viral load or UVL when chatting to friends or potential sexual partners, on apps or social media, or in blogs, magazines and medical journals.
But, what does it mean?
Having an undetectable viral load not only improves a HIV positive guys overall health, but it also means he wont transmit HIV to his partners. When a HIV positive guy is on treatment, within six months he can, in most cases, achieve an UVL.
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If I Have A Viral Load Blip Could I Pass On Hiv
People with an undetectable viral load sometimes experience what are called blips in their viral load. Their viral load increases from undetectable to a low but detectable level before becoming undetectable again on the next test.
For example, your viral load may temporarily rise to 60 copies/ml or 150 copies/ml. This should not be a cause for concern.
Remember that in the PARTNER and Opposites Attract studies, undetectable was defined as below 200 copies/ml. These studies showed that transmission does not occur below this level.
However, a blip could indicate a problem if it happens around the same time as missed or late doses of your medication, or if your viral load stays above detectable on two consecutive tests.
If I Am Hiv Negative And My Hiv
In the age of U=U, prevention and safer sex now means an undetectable viral load, condoms, PrEP, or a combination of these, depending on your needs and feelings. If your partner is undetectable, they cannot transmit HIV through sex. However, your decisions about condoms should be based on your sexual behavior and your partner sexual behavior. Remember that U=U only protects against HIV transmission! Condoms are still the best way to prevent STIs and pregnancy. If you are HIV negative and have other partners, you should consider and condoms or emergency PEP . However, if you are in a monogamous relationship and your partner is undetectable, you could choose not to use any other forms of protection. It is very important to have an open and honest conversation with your sexual partner and your doctor about which prevention methods are right and most comfortable for you.
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What Is Important For This Approach To Work
For HIV treatment to provide protection against HIV transmission, a persons viral load needs to become and remain undetectable after they start treatment.
When a person begins treatment, it usually takes three to six months for their viral load to become undetectable. Most people will eventually have an undetectable viral load if they are using HIV treatment that is effective against their strain of HIV and take it as prescribed by their doctor.
A persons viral load needs to remain undetectable for at least six months before they can use this approach as an effective HIV prevention strategy. They must continue to have high adherence to treatment to maintain an undetectable viral load over time. The only way for them to know if their viral load remains undetectable over the long term is to have regular viral load tests.
However, not everyones viral load becomes and remains undetectable on treatment. The most common reason why a persons viral load remains detectable is low adherence to their medications, but drug resistance can also occur. When treatment fails, a person wont know that their viral load is detectable until they get another viral load test. Depending on the reason the treatment failed, a person may require a change in treatment, or they may benefit from adherence counselling, to bring their viral load back down to undetectable levels. The best options for moving forward should be discussed with a doctor.
How Do I Know If My Viral Load Is Undetectable
The only way to know if your viral load is undetectable is through an HIV viral load or HIV RNA test that your doctor or health care provider can do. You will need to have your blood drawn for this test, and the test will determine the level of virus in your blood that day. If the level of virus in your blood is below the limit of detection of the test, then we say your virus is undetectable.
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Are Breastfeeding Guidelines Changing For Mothers With Undetectable Viral Load
In light of U=U, researchers and clinicians in high-income countries are calling for a better understanding of HIV infection via breastfeeding. There also remain concerns around treatment toxicity in infants, as antiretroviral treatment is present in breast milk of mothers, as well as the effect of inflammation in the mammary gland, such as mastitis, which can increase HIV shedding in breast milk.
But we know that breastfeeding has multiple benefits over formula feeding for the baby, such as anti-inflammatory effects, improvements in the babys immune system, improvement in the development of the gut microbiome, and better overall health and psychological outcomes in the long-run.
While no high-income countries explicitly recommend breastfeeding, treatment bodies in the US and in European countries such as the UK and Switzerland now call for a human-rights centred approach, which advocates for mothers to be counselled about breastfeeding and the risks, and supported if they wish to exclusively breastfeed and are virally suppressed.
So until our understanding of the science improves, guidelines are unlikely to recommend breastfeeding for mothers with an undetectable viral load in high-income countries any time soon.
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Can You Get Hiv From Someone Who Is Undetectable
The CDC confirms that patients with undetectable HIV cannot transmit the virus to others via sexual activity. Keep in mind, however, that undetectable HIV is different from undetected or undiagnosed HIV. A person with a detectable HIV load who does not realize they are infected can certainly spread the virus to others through syringe sharing or sexual contact. Furthermore, undetectable HIV loads can increase and become high enough to risk infecting others, particularly when ART is poorly managed or stopped altogether. For this reason, it is essential that HIV-positive patients undergo routine monitoring to ensure their HIV load remains undetectable.
All of our convenient HSNT locations in Denton County and Collin County offer comprehensive HIV/AIDS care, treatment, and monitoring, including the following services:
- HIV medication and therapy management
- Case management
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Can My Viral Load Continue To Change
Yes, your viral load can continue to change. This would usually be a result of factors to do with your adherence , or other health issues. Regular viral load monitoring will help you stay on top of these changes, so you can manage your health accordingly.
Your viral load usually drops quickly after first starting treatment, however it may be a while before it reaches a point where its undetectable. Most people who adhere properly to their treatment become undetectable after about six months, but its important that you have a viral load test to confirm this.
While changes to viral load can occur, they should be relatively uncommon for people who adhere properly to their medication and are otherwise in good health. Your viral load monitoring appointments are there to help you to identify and respond to any changes in your viral load.
These appointments also give you time to discuss any difficulties you are having with your medication. Often big life changes, like starting a new relationship or moving to a new place, can make adherence more difficult. Your healthcare worker can help you with any new challenges and work with you to stay healthy and keep your viral load low.
What Is Viral Suppression
Antiretroviral therapy keeps HIV from making copies of itself. When a person living with HIV begins an antiretroviral treatment regimen, their viral load drops. For almost everyone who starts taking their HIV medication daily as prescribed, viral load will drop to an undetectable level in six months or less. Continuing to take HIV medications as directed is imperative to stay undetectable.
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Testing Positive On Hiv Antibody Tests
Since the early days of the HIV epidemic, we have used antibody tests to test for HIV. Antibody tests are the most affordable and accessible HIV tests. They are the most common types of HIV tests at testing sites around the world because they provide rapid, on-the-spot results.
Antibody tests do not detect HIV. Instead, they detect antibodies that the immune system produces in response to HIV infection.
WHAT ARE ANTIBODIES?
Our immune systems develop antibodies in response to all kinds of pathogens. Anytime you get sick or get any kind of infection, your body builds up a defense system and creates antibodies to try and fight that specific infection off. If these antibodies are successful, some infections will go away but the antibodies never do. They will remain in your body, helping to protect you from getting the same infection in the future.
In this way, antibodies allow our bodies to remember a specific infectious agentlike a particular strain of the fluand then respond to it more quickly if exposed to it again in the future. Once we develop antibodies to a virus we may have those antibodies for life or for many years.
HIV ANTIBODIES WHEN YOURE UNDETECTABLE
Side Effects Of Hiv Treatment
People on current HIV treatments may experience mild side effects including:
- tiredness and fatigue
- skin rashes.
If you are on treatment, see your doctor every 3 to 6 months.
Regular blood tests are necessary to make sure your treatment is working and not causing serious side effects. It is recommended that you also get tested for STIs and talk to your doctor about your sexual health and overall wellbeing. Ensure you are having routine screening for cancers and keeping your vaccinations up to date.
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What Does U=u Mean For People Living With Hiv Who Are Not Undetectable
Everyone with HIV in New York State should get into treatment and get the services they need to be as healthy as possible. Being adherent to ART reduces transmission risk and comes with many important health benefits. It is important to understand that many people living with HIV may not be in a position to reach undetectable viral load status due to factors that are beyond their control. These reasons may include problems accessing treatment, past ART treatment that led their HIV virus to develop resistance or causetoxicities, and other comorbidities.
Bites That Break The Skin
A bite that opens the skin and causes bleeding can lead to the transmission of HIV. However, according to the
goes up with increasing viral load.
Viral load is highest both during the early phase of HIV and without treatment with antiretroviral medications. Taking antiretroviral medications every day can reduce a persons viral load to very low levels that cannot be detected through testing.
In this way, antiretroviral medications are not only a treatment, but an important tool for prevention. When HIV cannot be detected in the blood, a person living with HIV cannot sexually transmit the virus to a partner without HIV.
This principle is called Undetectable = Untransmittable .
It can take up to 6 months of taking antiretroviral medications each day to achieve an undetectable viral load.
A persons viral load is said to be durably undetectable when all test results are undetectable for at least 6 months after the first undetectable result.
There are a couple reasons that STIs can raise HIV risk. First, the symptoms of many STIs include genital inflammation, sores, or ulcers. These can all increase the chance of transmitting the virus from one person to another.
Second, like HIV, transmission of STIs is associated with some of the same types of behaviors, such as engaging in sex without a condom or other barrier method.
Some research has also indicated that certain STIs may be more with HIV transmission than others. These STIs include:
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Does U=u Apply To The Non
This page is about HIV transmission during sex.
But an undetectable viral load is also crucial for conception, pregnancy and birth. If you maintain an undetectable viral load during pregnancy, the risk of HIV being passed on to your baby is just 0.1%, or one in a thousand.
During breastfeeding, an undetectable viral load greatly reduces the risk of passing HIV on, although it does not completely eliminate this possibility. In the UK and other countries where clean water and sterilising equipment are available, bottle feeding with formula milk is the safest way to feed your baby.
If you use injection drugs and or other equipment, taking HIV treatment and having an undetectable viral load greatly reduces the risk of passing HIV on, but we dont know by how much.
Can I Get Hiv From Donating Blood
There is no chance of getting HIV from donating blood. New, disposable and sterile needles will be used to collect your blood.
If you suspect that the needle your healthcare professional is using is not new or sterile then ask them to change the needle and check that it comes out of a sealed pack before agreeing to give blood.
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British Hiv Association Advice
The ‘Undetectable equals Untransmittable’ campaign is supported by the British HIV Association , which is the professional association for doctors and other healthcare professionals working in HIV in the UK.
BHIVA says consistent use of HIV treatment to maintain an undetectable viral load is a highly effective way to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV.
BHIVA says healthcare professionals should share this information with all people living with HIV. It advises healthcare professionals to explain the scientific evidence behind U=U, emphasising the importance of excellent adherence to HIV treatment and highlighting that U=U is dependent on maintaining a sustained undetectable viral load.
Does U=u Apply To Transmission Through Needle Sharing
U=U does not apply to HIV transmission through sharing syringes or other injection equipment needle sharing. There is not yet enough research to draw a conclusion. There is some evidence from a 2013 study in Bangkok, Thailand, that treatment reduces the chance of transmission via needle sharing, but more research is needed. Harm reduction services are critical to supporting the health of injection drug users and preventing HIV transmission. For help regarding addiction and treatment, please visit the link below.
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Do Viral Blips Increase The Chance Of Transmission
Small transient increases in viral load known as blips sometimes occur on effective ART when people are taking their medication as prescribed by a healthcare provider. After a blip, viral load typically returns to undetectable levels without any change in treatment. Viral blips have not been shown to increase the transmission of HIV. Unless the viral blips start to increase in frequency, they do not mean treatment isnt working and are normally not of concern to healthcare providers. For more information about viral load testing and frequency, please see question 11.
Are There Any Side Effects To Being On Hiv Medicines
HIV medicines can cause side effects for some people. Most are manageable. Fortunately, there are numerous HIV medicines available today that people can take without serious side effects. If you do experience any side effects it is important to discuss these with your healthcare provider.
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