3 things that everyone needs to know about HIV

So, there’s a lot of misinformation about HIV out there and a lot of it gets passed around like the gospel truth. The following are a few things that everyone needs to know:

1. No matter what any person says, the science says that PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is incredibly effective in preventing HIV transmission.

2. If someone is living with HIV, and they are adhering to their treatment regimen, they can become “undetectable,” which means that their viral load is suppressed to the point where the virus is undetectable in blood tests. This is very important: UNDETECTABLE = UNTRANSMITTABLE. The scientific consensus is that, if someone is undetectable, they cannot transmit HIV to another person. Make no mistake: this is HUGE.

3. If you live in the United States and you are living with HIV, there are several programs at the state and federal levels that will help you afford meds. I was recently talking to someone who works in HIV prevention and treatment with the federal government, and she straight up said that there is no reason why anyone who lives with HIV shouldn’t have their meds, period. If you can’t afford them, these programs can pay for them for you.

These are just three things, but they’re incredibly important. And I didn’t even touch on things like housing issues, institutional oppression(s), shitty doctors, and ever present HIV stigma. The three points above, though, show us that we can virtually end the epidemic (as long as we can also fix shitty social determinants of health as well).