U=U equals… you involved?
Over the last several years, U=U has really inspired the community and broken down some of the walls in terms of how HIV is viewed. For decades, the basic understanding was: if you are HIV positive you must use protection when engaging in sexual activity. Shaky laws were built around the assumption that every act of unprotected sex was as dangerous as lighting a fart at a gas station. The discovery that an undetectable viral load makes transmission impossible not only takes the teeth out of the ethical and legal problems that HIV criminalization have caused, it also increases testing and encourages regular doctor’s visits and adherence to drug regimens.
Anyone who has tested positive has likely had to deal with the daunting spector of an uncertain sex life ahead. The fears of rejection that come with that positive status ultimately endangers the lives of the newly diagnosed. When someone is depressed, or experiencing feelings of lonliness and a lack of hope, they are more likely to avoid anything that reminds them of their HIV status, which includes taking their medication and staying on top of their overall health.
Everyone with HIV deserves access to HIV treatment, which is one of the cornerstones of what U=U hopes to accomplish. Whether you are detectable, undetectable, HIV positive or HIV negative, we all stand to benefit from this messaging receiving the wings it so richly deserves.