Why we need to talk about U=U
Despite significant advancements in treatment and prevention, HIV continues to disproportionately affect gay, bisexual, trans, and queer men and Two-Spirit and non-binary people (GBT2Q) due to ongoing gaps in prevention, diagnosis, and care. However, the principle of undetectable = untransmittable, or U=U - that those on HIV treatment with an undetectable viral load cannot pass on the virus through sex - has shown great promise in reducing HIV transmission and combating HIV stigma, including within GBT2Q communities.
Too many in our communities - particularly those experiencing multiple forms of social marginalization - have been denied access to this transformative information. For instance, CBRC's 2019 Sex Now Survey revealed limited knowledge of U=U in rural and remote communities, with lower awareness reported compared to urban and suburban areas (62.6% vs. 79.9%). Similarly, non-gay-identifying GBT2Q individuals displayed significantly lower awareness of U=U when compared to their gay-identified counterparts (59.5% vs. 82.3%).
To increase uptake of the U=U message, we developed a new campaign led by people living with HIV to address gaps in awareness. Hear from community members themselves through the videos below! The campaign is informed by a series of consultations we conducted with diverse 2S/GBTQ people living with HIV and analysis of Sex Now data.
This initiative is part of the Canada to Zero Community Research Program and has been supported by an award from Gilead Sciences Inc.
U=U Is Not Just A Slogan, It’s Science
Seth Falk and Travis L'Henaff
Start the dialogue within your networks on the importance of U=U by sharing these videos and blogposts with your friends and communities!
For more information on CBRC's work related to Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) and content challenging HIV stigma, please visit the following resources:
- “It’s not just a slogan, it’s science. So how can we better communicate about U=U” by Alex Tran
- “Undetectable Equals Untransmittable” (U=U) knowledge and practices by HIV and PrEP status among gay, bisexual, queer and trans men and Two-Spirit and non-binary people across Canada
- U=U, PrEP, Substance Use, and HIV Self-Testing: Key Findings from Sex Now 2021
- World AIDS Day 2021: Adding up the Equation of U=U
- Resist Stigma: How did we get there? A Scoping Review
For more information about U=U, please visit:
- Government of Canada - U=U Brief for Service Providers
- AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia - U=U
- REZO - La Charge Virale
- Canadian AIDS Society - U=U Position Statement