Media Release

19 September 2018

ASHM launched the updated ASHM Guide for Clinicians and other Healthcare Providers to discuss Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) in conjunction with a pre-conference event at the 2018 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference dedicated to exploring the science behind U=U at the recent International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam (July 2018). The updated ASHM Guide featured as an example of how supportive public health policy from the scientific evidence to support community action.  

With the release over recent years of findings from four key studies looking at how HIV therapy prevents the sexual transmission of HIV, it is now clear that for people living with HIV who are able to maintain an undetectable viral load there is effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner. 

These updated guidelines now include the results from the Partner 2 Study [1] which lends even more evidence of the scientific fact that there is ZERO risk of the sexual transmission from someone with an undetectable viral load.  

With the overwhelming support and interest in these guidelines from the global community which was demonstrated in Amsterdam, a jointly authored foreword has been added from two of the world’s leading clinicians and researchers working in HIV — Professor Sharon Lewin and Dr Kenneth Mayer have added their support to the guidelines and highlight the pressing need to support both clinicians and their patients in evidence-based decision making. 

Infectious diseases physician and HIV researcher James McMahon, who is also ASHM Technical Lead, additionally added his support. 

“The U=U guidance document provides important advice to assist providers in Australia when discussing HIV transmission and the impact of antiretroviral therapy in real life settings. It is critical that the U=U message continues to be supported and promoted. By providing guidance tailored to the Australian context and form a trusted organisation such as ASHM, people with HIV, and those at risk of acquiring HIV will have the best available information to maximise their own health and the message of U=U will be further advanced.” 

“This guidance document exemplifies how important it is to ensure that we continue to invest in translating community messaging into clinical guidelines for the health workforce in a manner that is accessible and useful for everyday practice. ASHM is proud to continue to support our sector with evidence-based tools that are responsive to a rapidly evolving landscape and representing the latest best practice,” said ASHM CEO Alexis Apostolellis.

Co-founder of The Institute of Many, Nic Holas, whose online peer-support and advocacy platform for people with HIV adds his support. 

“The communities of People Living with HIV can now breathe a little easier, knowing that this up-to-date, scientifically proven information is getting out there. The risk really is zero. These U=U guidelines are a testament to the decades-long partnership between People Living with HIV and out HIV clinicians, and one the clearest indications that we are finally bringing HIV into the 21st century.”

 

Find out more about U=U

Link to this ASHM webpage also including Australian guidance for clinicians and other health care providers discussing Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) with people living with HIV – UPDATED WITH LATEST EVIDENCE available for download [PDF]


References

[1] Zero HIV transmissions in PARTNER study after gay couples had sex 77,000 times without condoms – an undetectable viral load stops HIV:  http://i-base.info/htb/34604

 

For more information or to arrange an interview

Contact ASHM Media on 0403 184 339 or media@ashm.org.au