Finally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have caught up with what many in the HIV community already knew to be true: HIV-positive people who are undetectable do not transmit HIV to their partners.
In a memo released recognizing National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the CDC acknowledged the updated science about the benefits of being on successful HIV treatment.
“Scientific advances have shown that antiretroviral therapy (ART) preserves the health of people living with HIV,” the memo reads. “We also have strong evidence of the prevention effectiveness of ART. When ART results in viral suppression, defined as less than 200 copies/ml or undetectable levels, it prevents sexual HIV transmission.”
In a statement to HIV Plus, Bruce Richman, executive director of UequalsU.org and the Prevention Access Campaign, said, “This is the moment we have been waiting for! The CDC agreed today there is ‘effectively no risk‘ of sexually transmitting HIV when on treatment and undetectable.”
The CDC’s official recognition could do wonders for HIV stigma, still one of the biggest problems that HIV-positive people face in the year 2017. This information could also potentially make an impact on several states’ antiquated, draconian HIV criminalization laws, which effectively treat HIV-positive people as public health problems.