FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 11, 2017
CONTACT: Erica Quealy, 517-241-2112
LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and other leaders in the fight to end the HIV epidemic by supporting the prevention campaign, Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U).
Based on the emerging research, the scientific consensus is that a person living with HIV taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) as prescribed with an undetectable viral load in their blood sample for at least six months has a negligible risk of transmitting HIV sexually. Viral load refers to the amount of HIV in a blood sample of a person living with HIV. Most often, the higher the viral load, the greater the likelihood an individual with HIV will transmit HIV. ART must be taken daily to achieve viral suppression and maintain untransmittable status.
“Research continues to demonstrate that ART is a highly effective strategy to keep people living with HIV healthier longer and virally suppressed, thus reducing the transmission of HIV,” said Eden Wells, MDHHS Chief Medical Executive. “We have key partnerships with agencies throughout Michigan to support programs that help with ART access and adherence, and help individuals with HIV stay in medical care to achieve viral suppression.”
While viral suppression prevents the sexual transmission of HIV, condoms and/or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use are also important HIV prevention strategies. PrEP is a once-a-day pill for HIV-negative individuals that when taken daily helps reduce the risk of HIV transmission. Using condoms correctly and during every sex act helps to protect against pregnancy and other sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis, gonorrhea or chlamydia.
Individuals who have HIV and would like assistance getting into care can visit www.michigan.gov/survivehiv.