The HHS Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP) is coordinating a process across HHS agencies to ensure that they all consistently and accurately describe the effect of viral suppression on the risk of sexual transmission of HIV. As part of this process, last week CDC posted the following notice on its main HIV page:
“The goals of HIV treatment are to improve health and prevent transmission of HIV. The best marker of successful treatment is reducing the amount of HIV in the blood and elsewhere in the body to very low levels. This is called viral suppression. Three different studies of the prevention effectiveness of viral suppression to reduce the risk for sexual HIV transmission have shown similar results: across thousands of couples and many thousand acts of sex without a condom or PrEP, no HIV transmissions were observed when the HIV-positive person was virally suppressed. This means that getting and staying virally suppressed is not only the best thing people living with HIV can do to maintain their health, but also one of the best ways to prevent new infections through sex. CDC is working with other federal agencies to ensure that we consistently and accurately describe the prevention effectiveness of HIV treatment and viral suppression for sexual transmission of HIV. We will update our messages accordingly.”
Prevention content on HIV.gov (which is managed by OHAIDP) features or adapts content from CDC to ensure consistency of messaging. So our content will also be revised accordingly in the coming weeks and months.
View a recent Facebook Live conversation about this topic moderated by OHAIDP’s Director, Dr. Rich Wolitski.
Stay tuned for more information.