KENS-TV (CBS) Undetectable Equals Untransmittable: U=U

By July 5, 2018News

#UequalsU: Breakthrough treatment helping to make HIV untransmittable

A breakthrough in HIV treatment is making the virus nearly undetectable. Here in San Antonio it is giving many living with it a positive outlook on their future.

A recent breakthrough in HIV treatment is making the virus nearly undetectable.

And here in San Antonio, it is giving many people living with the disease a positive outlook for their future. “A really big push nationally is getting the word out that undetectable equals untransmittable. U equals U,” said Ken Slavin with the San Antonio Aids Foundation.

The “U equals U” campaign started about two years ago, and it is a huge step in wiping out HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “People who take ART daily as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.”

This campaign is especially important here in the Alamo City. “The rates of HIV in San Antonio are going up which is why it’s really important to get tested and to know where you stand whether it’s negative or positive HIV stops with you,” said Andrea Moutria-Nino, Director of Prevention with the San Antonio Aids Foundation.

But the first step is getting tested. Once you know your HIV status, whether it’s positive or negative, you will know what to do to move forward,” Moutria-Nino said.

Testing is quick and virtually pain-free, and you get your results within 60 seconds. It’s very important to get tested because you need to know your status.

Slavin added, “If you’ve received a positive diagnosis you can work quickly to get that down to undetectable, by getting into medical care right away, and getting on the medications you need, and from that point forward you can move forward and have a wonderful and productive and healthy life.”

And with advancements in HIV treatment and medication, those living with HIV, can get to a point where they can’t transmit the virus. Moutria-Nino said, “Anti-retroviral therapy works by not allowing the virus to make copies of itself if I can make copies of itself then the immune system goes up the viral load goes down.” Slavin added, “You have so many options when it comes to learning about and dealing with and treating HIV today.”