World AIDS Day: Clients Can Handle the Truth

“Thousands of HIV organizations around the world are adding a new message to their World AIDS Day campaigns this year, and it is turning decades of HIV prevention messaging on its head. ‘Undetectable equals untransmittable’, or U=U, is a grassroots movement led by people living with HIV and their allies, urging us all to communicate these results clearly and directly.”

“When CATIE endorsed the U=U consensus statement this year, many lauded us for helping to spread the message across Canada. But we also faced resistance from those who felt the message was dangerous.”

“We heard concerns about sharing this news with clients. Will people living with HIV and their partners abandon condoms? Will we see an upsurge in other sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea? Will people no longer take the risk of HIV transmission seriously?”‚Äč

“These arguments are not new to us. CATIE was founded in 1990 to share information about emerging treatments for people living with HIV, at a time when this information was unavailable, inaccessible or closely guarded by professionals who believed that their clients could not be trusted with it.”

“This paternalism has re-emerged time and time again over the course of the HIV epidemic.”

Read more at CATIE.