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FAQ: What does U equals U mean?

for Veterans and the Public

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I keep hearing about U=U. What does that really mean?

U=U is an informational campaign about how effective HIV medications are in preventing sexual transmission of HIV. U=U means "Undetectable = Untransmittable," indicating that if a person with HIV is on HIV meds (antiretroviral therapy, or ART) with a consistently undetectable HIV viral load, the virus cannot be transmitted to a sex partner. As a prevention strategy, this is often referred to as Treatment as Prevention, or TasP.

U=U and TasP are based on substantial scientific data. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that, "People who take ART daily as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner."

So if you have HIV: take your HIV meds every day! This is important for both for your personal health and to prevent HIV transmission.

For more information, see: Q: If I am on HIV medications and my viral load is undetectable (meaning that the virus isn't showing up on blood tests), can I still pass the virus to another person through sex?