We’re telling everyone: someone living with HIV and on effective treatment can’t pass it on.
It's one of the most positive messages someone living with HIV can hear. It reduces the stigma around HIV and provides motivation to stay on treatment to keep both themselves and their sexual partners healthy.
If everyone knew this simple and powerful message, we could bring an end to stigma around HIV. Not only that, but we could stop HIV transmissions altogether.
We know that while amazing medical progress has been made, knowledge of HIV hasn’t kept up with that progress. Stigma that affects people living with HIV also stops others from getting tested. The more people who test and get onto effective treatment, the fewer HIV transmissions will happen.
Our Can’t Pass It On campaign is spreading this message far and wide, so we can end HIV stigma and HIV transmissions, once and for all.
The science bit
For the past 20 years, evidence has been building to show that your likelihood of passing on HIV is linked to the amount of the virus in your blood.
The landmark PARTNER study, published in 2016, looked at 58,000 instances of sex without a condom where one partner was HIV positive and one was HIV negative.
Results found that where the HIV positive partner was on effective treatment (reducing the amount of the virus to ‘undetectable’ levels; also known as having an undetectable viral load), there were zero cases of HIV transmission. This is what is meant by the phrase Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U).
This was further backed up in the PARTNER 2 study, published in May 2019, which also showed zero cases of transmission among 782 gay male couples.
This gives us the robust evidence to confidently say that people on effective HIV treatment can’t pass on the virus.
What we’re doing
We’re working with communities, media, policy-makers and community groups to get this message across to as many people as possible.
By helping to spread the word and ensure that people know the facts about HIV and effective treatment, we hope to tackle stigma and remove the fear that often surrounds the virus.
We hope this will also lead to people getting more frequent and earlier HIV tests.