Our History

In 2016, a group of people living with HIV collaborated with HIV researchers to launch Prevention Access Campaign’s Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) campaign. The U=U campaign is based on the groundswell of evidence confirming that when treatments reduce HIV to undetectable levels it can’t be sexually transmitted. The purpose of the U=U campaign was to build an international science-based consensus to confirm U=U and then disseminate the groundbreaking science with a global network of partners.

The community-led U=U campaign is now a global health and human rights movement with over 1000 official partners in 105 countries. U=U has been accepted by the global medical and scientific community as a life-changing, stigma-busting, and transmission-stopping fact.  This rapid expansion is a testament to the passion and power of people living with HIV coming together with scientists, public health officials, and other allies to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV and bring an end to the dual epidemics of HIV and HIV stigma. U=U is changing lives and the HIV response by changing national and global policies, strategies, and communications about living and loving with HIV.

 The U=U  movement builds upon the long and rich history of HIV activism, research, and developments in treatment and prevention dating back to the early days of the epidemic. Below is a timeline of some of the key moments in the history of the U=U movement. We wish we could honor all the extraordinary people and organizations that made this movement what it is today. A full list of U=U Community Partners can be found here.

 

The evolution of U=U

  • 1981

    First report of AIDS

    First report of AIDS Click here for more info
  • 1987

    ACT UP NY is founded, paving the way for future HIV/AIDS activism

    ACT UP NY is founded, paving the way for future HIV/AIDS activism Click here for more info
  • 1996

    Highly effective HIV treatment is developed

    (Highly Active Antiretroviral Retroviral Treatment/ HAART) means HIV becomes a chronic illness and is no longer a death sentence.

    Highly effective HIV treatment is developed Click here for more info
  • 2006

    Dr. Julio Montaner pioneers the concept of Treatment as Prevention (TasP)

    Dr. Julio Montaner pioneers the concept of Treatment as Prevention (TasP) Click here for more info
  • 2008

    Dr. Pietro Vernazza and the Swiss National AIDS Commission are the first to confirm that people living with HIV on effective treatment cannot sexually transmit HIV

    Dr. Pietro Vernazza and the Swiss National AIDS Commission are the first to confirm that people living with HIV on effective treatment cannot sexually transmit HIV Click here for more info
  • 2011

    HPTN-052 clinical trial reports that early treatment dramatically reduced the risk of HIV transmission in heterosexual couples with different HIV status.

    The study was so effective that it was stopped early so all participants could use ART.

    HPTN-052 clinical trial reports that early treatment  dramatically reduced the risk of HIV transmission in heterosexual couples with different HIV status. Click here for more info
  • 2014

    PARTNER 1 study reports no HIV transmission after sero different couples had sex without condoms more than 44,000 times

    “When asked what the study tells us about the chance of someone with an undetectable viral load  transmitting HIV, presenter Alison Rodger said: “Our best estimate is it’s zero.” 

     

    PARTNER 1 study reports no HIV transmission after sero different couples had sex without condoms more than 44,000 times Click here for more info.
  • 2016

    U=U is launched in early 2016 by a group of people living with HIV and global experts to build a consensus about the science of transmission risk and to promote it as “U=U”

    U=U is launched in early 2016 by a group of people living with HIV and global experts to build a consensus about the science of transmission risk and to promote it as
  • 2016

    Terrence Higgins Trust issues the world’s first U=U statement from an NGO and medical director

    Terrence Higgins Trust issues the world's first U=U statement from an NGO and medical director Click here for more info
  • 2016

    PARTNER 1 final results are published, reporting zero HIV transmissions after more than 58,000 condomless sex acts

    Image credit: Terrence Higgins Trust

    PARTNER 1 final results are published, reporting zero HIV transmissions after more than 58,000 condomless sex acts Click here for more info
  • 2016

    HPTN-052 final results are published which confirm that no participants with an undetectable viral load transmitted HIV to their HIV-negative sexual partner during the study

    HPTN-052 final results are published which confirm that no participants with an undetectable viral load transmitted HIV to their HIV-negative sexual partner during the study Click here for more info
  • 2016

    New York City Department of Health becomes the world’s first city and health department to endorse U=U

    Dr. Demetre Daskalakis leads NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in historic world-first

     

    New York City Department of Health becomes the world's first city and health department to endorse U=U
  • 2016

    NASTAD and YouthCo become the first nonprofits in the US and Canada to sign on and issue U=U statements

    NASTAD and YouthCo become the first nonprofits in the US and Canada to sign on and issue U=U statements
  • 2016

    Dr. Carl Dieffenbach and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) produce videos to confirm U=U and ZERO risk of transmission

    Dr. Carl Dieffenbach and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) produce videos to confirm U=U and ZERO risk of transmission Click here for more info
  • 2017

    CATIE signs on as the first globally recognized HIV information site

    CATIE signs on as the first globally recognized HIV information site Click here for more info
  • 2017

    Activists protest at the the International AIDS Society conference in Paris demanding that U=U be communicated worldwide

    Activists protest at the the International AIDS Society conference in Paris demanding that U=U be communicated worldwide
  • 2017

    At the International AIDS Society conference, leaders from UNAIDS, PEPFAR, and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci confirm U=U

    One year after the U=U Consensus Statement was issued, U=U advocates from sixteen countries convened at the International AIDS Society Conference in Paris where the mayor of Paris signed the city on to U=U and leaders from UNAIDS, PEPFAR, and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci confirm U=U at a press conference.

    At  the International AIDS Society conference, leaders from UNAIDS, PEPFAR, and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci confirm U=U
  • 2017

    The Opposites Attract study shows zero HIV transmissions among gay male couples of different HIV status

    The Opposites Attract study shows zero HIV transmissions among gay male couples of different HIV status Click here for more info
  • 2017

    Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Insitute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), declares “the science really does verify and validate U=U” at the United States Conference on AIDS

    Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Insitute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), declares “the science really does verify and validate U=U” at the United States Conference on AIDS Click here for more info
  • 2017

    CDC confirms U=U: People living with HIV who are virally suppressed have “effectively no risk” of transmitting HIV

    See more of of the CDC’s language and sources at U=U Flagship Endorsements.

    CDC confirms U=U: People living with HIV who are virally suppressed have “effectively no risk” of transmitting HIV The CDC Follows the Data: Effectively NO RISK
  • 2017

    The Washington Post writes “[U=U is] the campaign credited with beginning to change the public perception about HIV transmissibility”

    The Washington Post writes “[U=U is] the campaign credited with beginning to change the public perception about HIV transmissibility” Click here for more info
  • 2018

    Dr. Maureen Goodenow, Director of the National Institutes of Health Office of AIDS Research (OAR) writes U=U is a “game changer”

    Dr. Maureen Goodenow, Director of the National Institutes of Health Office of AIDS Research (OAR) writes U=U is a Click here for more info
  • 2018

    Dr. Alison Rodger announces the results of the PARTNER 2 study at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam

    Lead author Dr. Alison Rodger sends a message to clinicians who hesitate to share U=U with their patients, stating “it’s very clear the risk is zero,” and “the time for excuses is over.” Dr. Rodger incorporates PAC and U=U into all PARTNER 2 official communications including the published journal article and press releases.

     

    Dr. Alison Rodger announces the results of the PARTNER 2 study at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam Click here for more info.
  • 2018

    Canada becomes the first country to endorse U=U

    Canada becomes the first country to endorse U=U Click here for more info
  • 2019

    Love to Love Organisation in Uganda holds Africa’s first U=U conference

    Love to Love Organisation in Uganda holds Africa's first U=U conference Click here for more info
  • 2019

    Brazilian government becomes first in Latin America to include U=U in updated HIV guidelines

    The guidelines state (translated into English): “The rationale for using the concept is supported by scientific evidence that antiretroviral therapy (ART) and undetectable viral load do not transmit the virus sexually. The term Undetectable = Untransmissible (U = U) is already used by scientists and reference institutions on HIV worldwide.”

    Brazilian government becomes first in Latin America to include U=U in updated HIV guidelines Click here for more info
  • 2019

    The CDC endorses the use of “Undetectable = Untransmittable” and Prevention Access Campaign materials

    “We urge you to share this groundbreaking science with your communities. You can use CDC-developed materials, as well as materials developed by community groups such as Prevention Action Campaign, the organization responsible for the U=U campaign (undetectable=untransmittable).” See more of the CDC’s language and sources at U=U Flagship Endorsements.

    The CDC endorses the use of “Undetectable = Untransmittable” and Prevention Access Campaign materials CDC Letter Approving Usage of U=U Communications
  • 2019

    CDC confirms viral suppression is 100% effective for preventing sexual transmission of HIV

    See more of the CDC’s language and sources at U=U Flagship Endorsements.

    CDC confirms viral suppression is 100% effective for preventing sexual transmission of HIV Click here for more info.
  • 2019

    Dr. Anthony S. Fauci calls U=U the “foundation of being able to end the epidemic” and says transmission when someone has an undetectable viral load is “impossible”

    Dr. Anthony S. Fauci calls U=U the “foundation of being able to end the epidemic” and says transmission when someone has an undetectable viral load is “impossible” Click here for more info.
  • 2019

    U=U is awarded Special Recognition by U.S. Congress at the U.S. Conference on AIDS

    U=U is awarded Special Recognition by U.S. Congress at the U.S. Conference on AIDS The U.S. Congress Recently Recognized “U=U.” Here’s How It Happened.
  • 2019

    The official United States HIV treatment guidelines are updated to include U=U

    “All persons with HIV should be informed that maintaining a plasma HIV RNA (viral load) of <200 copies/mL, including any measurable value below this threshold value, with antiretroviral therapy (ART) prevents sexual transmission of HIV to their partners. Patients may recognize this concept as Undetectable = Untransmittable or U=U.”

    The official United States HIV treatment guidelines are updated to include U=U U.S. Government Updates HIV Treatment Guidelines to Include U=U
  • 2020

    Groundbreaking research shows that people living with HIV report significantly better health outcomes when their healthcare providers inform them about U=U

    Groundbreaking research shows that people living with HIV report significantly better health outcomes when their healthcare providers inform them about U=U Click here for more info
  • 2020

    Love Without Borders in Beijing holds China’s first U=U & PrEP Advocates Conference

    Love Without Borders in Beijing holds China's first U=U & PrEP Advocates Conference Click here for more info
  • 2021

    U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) includes U=U education as a minimum requirement of all 50 PEPFAR countries

    “The idea that someone living with HIV, who is both on treatment and virally undetectable, cannot transmit the virus to a sexual partner is revolutionary.” “Information on the benefits of ART should be provided to PLHIV and U=U should be emphasized when counseling people for HIV testing.” See more of PEPFAR’s language and sources at U=U Flagship Endorsements.

    U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) includes U=U education as a minimum requirement of all 50 PEPFAR countries PEPFAR 2021 Country and Regional Operational Plan (COP/ROP) Guidance for all PEPFAR Countries: U=U Made as Minimum Requirement
  • 2021

    Advocates in Russia hold first U=U (H=H) conference

    Advocates in Russia hold first U=U (H=H) conference
  • 2021

    The United Nations endorses U=U and encourages member states to leverage U=U as a stigma intervention tool

    The United Nations endorses U=U and encourages member states to leverage U=U as a stigma intervention tool Undetectable = Untransmittable Endorsed by United Nations
  • 2021

    The World Health Organization (WHO) includes U=U in official guidelines on on HIV prevention, testing, treatment, service delivery and monitoring

    “ARV drugs play a key role in HIV prevention. People taking ART who achieved viral suppression (<200 copies/ml) do not transmit HIV to sexual partners.” “With U=U, HIV treatment has transformed the HIV prevention landscape.” See more of WHO’s language and sources at U=U Flagship Endorsements.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) includes U=U in official guidelines on on HIV prevention, testing, treatment, service delivery and monitoring Click here for more info
  • 2021

    Prevention Access Campaign Celebrates 5 years of the U=U movement

    Prevention Access Campaign Celebrates 5 years of the U=U movement Click here for more info

Present Day