The scientific research provides strong evidence of the benefits – both health and preventive – of early diagnosis and sustained treatment. Antiretrovirals (ARVs), the prescription medications used to treat HIV, work to reduce the amount of virus in the body, often to levels undetectable by standard lab tests. In addition to keeping people with HIV healthy, maintaining a low viral load also prevents the spread of the virus to others.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has joined with other federal agencies as part of an effort led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to review the latest evidence of the effectiveness of HIV treatment and viral suppression in preventing sexual transmission. In September 2017, an HHS workgroup agreed on the following interim message summarizing the current research:
“People living with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative sexual partners.”
For those who do not have HIV, PrEP offers another powerful means of protection. When taken as prescribed, this once-a-day pill is highly effective in protecting against HIV.
The first step is knowing your status. Make HIV testing a routine part of your health care.
Whether living with HIV or not, we all have a role to play. Get the facts. Talk with the people in your life. And, be empowered to get the care and support you deserve.
We can do this.
Together, we are Greater Than AIDS.
HIV/AIDS in America
This fact sheet from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides the latest data on the U.S. HIV epidemic, including key trends over time, impact by region and population, and information on the U.S. government’s response.
And, this timeline from HIV.gov shows how far we have come in the history of the epidemic.