Pointing to a shared vision for achieving healthy, HIV-free communities through systemic, integrated prevention and care, Pact announced that it is marking World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, by adding its voice to the nearly 800 organizations that have joined the Undetectable = Untransmittable Movement, or U=U.
Started by the Prevention Access Campaign, U=U is a growing global community of HIV advocates, activists, researchers and Community Partners … uniting to clarify and disseminate the science proving that a person with HIV who is on treatment and has an undetectable viral load — the amount of HIV in the blood — cannot sexually transmit the virus. The groundbreaking fact is backed by the Center for Disease Control’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention and leading research organizations worldwide.
Tom La Salvia, Pact’s Global Director of Health, noted that “UNAIDS is marking the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day by promoting the theme of ‘Know Your Status.’ Pact is committed to controlling the epidemic through every available tool. Among these is motivating everyone to get tested for HIV, and if positive, start treatment immediately and reach an undetectable viral load. Adding the U=U message to our arsenal of systemic tools can help us get there.”
Working on the ground in more than 40 countries, Pact works to achieve the global mandate to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, and meet the Fast Track goals to reach 90-90-90 by 2020.
Partnering with shareholder communities, governments, donors such as USAID/PEPFAR, the private sector and other stakeholders, Pact creates local systems to identify and link vulnerable individuals and their families to health services and fight the stigma and marginalization that can come with an HIV diagnosis.
Bruce Richman, Executive Director of The Prevention Access Campaign, greeted Pact’s endorsement, adding that the Campaign “is delighted to welcome our colleagues at Pact to our growing community of supporters. Pact’s work in the most vulnerable and marginalized communities around the globe offers new hope to millions of people who are living with HIV yet remain at the margins of the global AIDS response.”
For his part, Brian White, Pact’s Senior Technical Advisor on LINKAGES — PEPFAR and USAID’s first global HIV/AIDS project dedicated to key populations — called on other organizations to join the U=U movement.
“Using the U=U message is one more way to advance strategic, targeted interventions to address barriers to combating HIV, especially among harder-to-reach populations such as adolescent girls, orphans and vulnerable children. Visit www.preventionaccess.org, and promote a simple message: Undetectable = Untransmittable can save lives and bring us closer to ending the epidemic,” said White, who recently marked 25 years living with HIV himself.