Led by the State of Maryland and the Baltimore City Health Department in conjunction with its partners, the U=U Maryland Campaign aims to eliminate the stigma of living with HIV through education, empowerment, and engagement.
U = U means that a person with an undetectable HIV viral load who is taking HIV treatment medications as prescribed cannot transmit HIV to a sexual partner. In addition to HIV testing, and using pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and condoms, U=U or Undetectable equals Untransmittable is another important strategy that adds to sound approaches for helping to achieve zero new HIV infections and reduce stigma for people living with HIV.
It is important that people living with HIV, their sexual partners, healthcare providers and the criminal justice system have accurate information that having an undetectable viral load makes the virus incapable of transmission and that viral load suppression is the goal for all people living with HIV. We stand with leading researchers who have examined this as an effective strategy to prevent transmission to HIV-negative sexual partners.1
We recognize that condoms also help prevent HIV transmission as well as other STIs and pregnancy. Today, a person has several options for HIV prevention, and can select one, two or all of them depending on their sexual practices, location, comfort, circumstances and relationships.
Achieving viral suppression, using condoms, regular screening for STIs, using PrEP – all of these need to be available and accessible to people living with and impacted by HIV. It allows all people regardless of gender across jurisdictions to make the best-informed decision for how to take care of their own physical, sexual, emotional, and mental health and to prevent new infections in Maryland.
1 “The evidence to support the effectiveness of viral suppression in blocking transmission is clear. In addition to some smaller studies done since 2000, three larger studies of sexual HIV transmission in thousands of serodiscordant couples including thousands of acts of sex were done between 2007 and 2016, with, strikingly, not a single case of sexual transmission of HIV from a virally suppressed HIV-positive person to their HIV-negative partner reported.” Excerpted from “U=U taking off in 2017,” The Lancet HIV, November 2017, retrieved November 7, 2017, from http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanhiv/article/PIIS2352-3018 (17)30183-2/fulltext
Community organizations and individuals are coming together in support of the U=U movement by signing a consensus statement, summarized below:
Read the full statement and join the more than 700 organizations throughout the world who support this message.
Without treatment, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) can have harmful effects to a person’s health. Learning the basics about HIV can keep you healthy and prevent transmission. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Sharing needles to inject drugs
Mother to baby during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding
Air or water
Saliva, sweat, tears, or closed-mouth kissing
Insects or pets
Sharing toilets, food, or drinks
The rate of HIV transmission is slowing in Maryland, and we’re working towards no new cases. Here are some statistics that illustrate the prevalence of HIV in our state (SOURCE: AIDSVu.org):
Number of people living with HIV in Maryland in 2017:
Number of new HIV diagnoses in Maryland in 2017:
Rate of HIV diagnosis per 100,000 people in Maryland in 2017:
Rate of HIV diagnosis per 100,000 people in Baltimore City in 2017: