PAC and our partners work together on every continent to ensure U=U becomes common knowledge and all people living with HIV have access to the treatment and care to benefit from it.
The U=U movement achieved astonishing results because of effective and meaningful collaborations between passionate and purpose-driven leaders from grassroots to government to global. We’ve mobilized our collective resources to move national and global institutions to endorse the U=U science and redefine what it means to live with HIV.
Together we work toward systemic change that will improve the quality of life of all people living with HIV while bringing us closer to ending the epidemic.
The Win-Win Agenda is a new health equity advocacy platform to increase access and remove barriers to quality HIV care. The Win-Win underpins all of PAC’s work and is based on a simple concept: increasing access and removing barriers to quality HIV treatment and care not only saves the lives of people living with HIV it also results in social, health, and economic benefits to countries – and it’s the foundation to end the epidemic.
When people living with HIV have the treatment, care and services to achieve and maintain U=U, everyone wins. However, social, structural, and legal barriers make U=U difficult or impossible for too many people living with HIV. The Win-Win approach is strengthening advocacy to eradicate these barriers to access.
ARV and Viral Load Testing Innovation and Access
PAC works with global health partners and CSOs to improve health outcomes and equity for people living with HIV by improving innovation, accessibility and demand for ARVs and viral load testing.
PAC partnered with the World Health Organization and stakeholders across the spectrum of HIV national and global health considerations to develop and launch a groundbreakig policy brief: The role of HIV viral suppression in improving individual health and reducing transmission. The brief has major implications for scaling up access to viral load testing and clear communications about transmission risk. PAC worked closely with the WHO on the release of the brief on July 23, 2023 at the International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science in Brisbane, Australia and launched the #SayZero campaign at the conference to draw attention to the brief’s groundbreaking recommendation to communicate “Zero risk” for sexual transmission when a person’s viral load is undetectable. The brief and PAC were featured in Devex and numerous other publications as well as the featured editorial in the The Lancet ID in September 2023. PAC is continuing to facilitate strong linkages and engagement with community and policymakers, raising key issues on communications and viral load scale-up and providing input on strategy for moving the brief from policy to practice.
In November of 2023, PAC and National Institutes of Health Office of AIDS Research co-organized a 2-day workshop “Community Voices: Forging the Path Forward for HIV Self-testing and Personalized Viral Load Monitoring” to provide a mechanism for community input on the development of new and cutting edge technologies for making testing and viral load monitoring, including at-home monitoring, more accessible. PAC will continue to enable informed and meaningful discussion between communities and stakeholders to evaluate the state of technology for viral load testing (VLT). Event page and agenda; Day One 11/01/2023; Day Two 11/02/2023
In 2023, PAC mobilized the Viral Load Testing Access Coalition (VLTAC), a group of leading civil society organizations advocating for equitable access to viral load testing. The VLTAC currently includes AfroCAB, APCOM, AVAC, GATE, Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, GNP+, IAPAC, IAS, ITPC Global, PAC, PATA, and Y+ Global. Viral load test information and access can help people living with HIV to stay healthy and ensure that HIV is not transmitted to other people and support policy-makers in determining the optimal allocation of resources for viral load testing and communicating the results.
PAC is committed to providing accurate and meaningful information to healthcare professionals and people living with HIV about the value of ARVs, viral load test results and ensuring equitable access to diagnostics.
U=U Global, Regional & National Mobilizations
U.S. U=U NATIONAL TASK FORCE
In June 2023, PAC launched the U=U National Task Force with the endorsement of the US Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus in partnership with inaugural members Elton John AIDS Foundation, Equality Federation, Human Rights Campaign, NMAC, Southern AIDS Coalition, and The Well Project. The Task Force will ensure that the US government follows through on the commitments outlined in the Multinational Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) Call-to-Action (MUCA). This call-to-action urges all nations to support the evidence-based U=U message and incorporate U=U into national efforts to prevent, diagnose, and treat HIV. Doing so can improve the health of individuals and communities and accelerate progress towards the UNAIDS 95-95-95 targets and related initiatives to achieve epidemic control. The Task Force aims to reignite action in the United States as a leader in U=U and to encourage other nations to take action based on the MUCA.
U=U AFRICA FORUM
In 2021, PAC and African partners CEYOHO in Botswana, HIV Survivors and Partners Network (HSPN) in South Africa,and Love to Love Organization in Uganda formed the U=U Africa Forum (UAF) to stimulate and support U=U programs in Africa. The UAF shares ideas and fosters collaborations in countries and regions where in-country partners have expressed need for support to develop sustainable and authentic U=U-related programs. A corps of U=U Ambassadors across the continent provide in-country direction and monitoring to ensure U=U is integrated into their country’s health policies and communications. To learn more, visit U=U Africa.
U=U Global Community Board
Formed in June, 2022, the U=U Global Community Board is led by fourteen leading global activists living with HIV on every continent to support the continued growth, impact, and community- driven leadership of U=U movements worldwide. These extraordinary activists have demonstrated commitment and action to share the U=U message with communities inclusive of all people living with HIV, working collaboratively in communications, education, and advocacy to ensure that U=U can be a reality for everyone. The Board engages in advocacy and actions to ensure that people living with HIV are informed about U=U and have the treatment and care to experience the freedom and joy it brings.
After a first year of engagement and learning, the UGCB is on hiatus and being reimagined for a relaunch in 2024.
U=U and REACH 95 in Ukraine
PAC is proud to partner with PATH, Faith, Hope, Love (FHL), and Yale University in the five-year PEPFAR-funded project, Re-envisioning Excellence and Accessibility in Clinic-based HIV Services (REACH 95) in Ukraine. In close partnership with the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the Centre of Public Health of the Ministry of Health, Oblast State Administrations, regional Centres of Disease Control, local Ukrainian community-led organizations and primary health care providers, we are supporting Ukraine’s accelerated efforts to improve equitable access to high-quality HIV service delivery at public health facilities through U=U science, optimized case- finding, and critical linkages to prevention, treatment and care.
Over the next five years (2023-2028), PAC will support project activities in 12 regions of Ukraine: Cherkaska, Chernihivska, Poltavska, Kirovohradska, Dnipropetrovska, Khersonska, Odeska, Mykolaivska, Donetska, Zaporizka, Kyivska oblasts, and the City of Kyiv.
Together, our collaboration will mean that more people living with HIV in Ukraine will know their status, will be linked to HIV care, and will receive effective treatment, which signify the core pillars of the UNAIDS global 95-95-95 targets and achieving HIV epidemic control by 2030.
The Third U
Underpinning all of our programs is the fight for the Third U: Universal Access, health equity and dignity for all people living with HIV.
No one should be shamed for not being on treatment or having any level of viral load which may be their personal choice or due to circumstances that are not in their control.
Economic, social, structural, and legal barriers make it difficult or impossible for far too many people living with HIV to reach an undetectable viral load and experience the benefits of U=U. Access to quality healthcare and support services is a significant concern in many parts of the world, including higher-income countries such as the U.S. Some people living with HIV may choose not to be treated or may not be ready to start treatment. Others may start treatment but have challenges with adherence for various reasons, including stigma, mental health issues, substance use, unstable housing, hostile environments, difficulty paying for medications, drug resistance, and/or intolerable side effects.
People living with HIV are more than just their lab results, and value isn’t dictated by viral load. No one living with HIV is a danger. If you are living with HIV and you have a detectable viral load, there are highly effective HIV prevention options for safer sex, including condoms, and in some parts of the world, PrEP for your HIV-negative partners, which can be used individually or in combination. Everyone living with HIV regardless of viral load has the right to full and healthy social, sexual, and reproductive lives.
Our challenge for the U=U community is to continue to fight for universal access to information, treatment, and care for all people living with HIV regardless of what barriers may exist and regardless of where they may live.
Read Charles Stephen’s POZ magazine blog “Viral Load Does Not Equal Value.”
Positive Perspectives Wave 2
PAC partnered with VIIV Healthcare and a panel of global experts on Positive Perspectives Wave 2 Study (PP2), one of the largest, global, HIV patient-reported outcomes studies to date. A primary goal of the study was to understand the extent to which healthcare providers (HCP) are informing their patients living with HIV about U=U and the impact that sharing U=U has on patient health outcomes. The study was based on PP2’s 2019 survey of 2,389 people living with HIV on treatment across 25 countries.
PP2 was groundbreaking. Being informed by an HCP about U=U was significantly associated with favorable health outcomes for people living with HIV, including better viral suppression, greater adherence, optimal health (including mental health and sexual health), and greater willingness to share HIV status with others. The PP2 study confirmed that dissemination of the U=U message in clinical settings can greatly benefit personal health outcomes and that U=U discussions with people living with HIV should be considered as a standard of care in clinical guidelines.
PAC, ViiV, and an advisory committee of community leaders and HCPs continue to promote this critical study to encourage more HCPs to inform their patients living with HIV about U=U.
Owning HIV is a campaign created with Merck and HIV advocates to inspire all of us to own the future of the HIV epidemic. The motivation behind the campaign is the alarming statistic that young adults (ages 18-34) account for the majority of new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. Owning HIV kicked off in 2019 with a first-of-its-kind survey to better understand beliefs and perceptions about HIV among millennials and Gen Z in the U.S.
Owning HIV survey findings uncovered a jarring trend of general confusion and insufficient knowledge about HIV and its transmission among young adults, along with the existence of high-risk sexual practices, poor disease management, and stigmatizing behaviors. For instance, 30% of HIV-negative millennials said they would prefer not to interact with someone living with HIV, and 28% of HIV-negative millennials said they have avoided hugging, talking to, or being friends with someone living with HIV.
In November 2020, new findings specific to young Black and African American survey respondents were released as part of Owning HIV Presents: HIV in Young, Black America, a free live and on-demand webinar to invite college students to fight stigma and take ownership of the HIV epidemic.
PAC continues to promote the findings from this groundbreaking study and to leverage U=U as an effective intervention to address pervasive HIV stigma, calling on all of us, including young adults, to work together to own the future of the HIV epidemic.
To make U=U accurate communication tools easily available, we teamed up with ViiV US in 2018 to create +Series, the first customizable and downloadable social marketing campaign to educate about U=U and promote engagement in care. The series was designed by a firm in Colombia and features the stories of four people living with HIV as depicted in artwork by four independent Latin American artists. You can download videos, posters, and gifs, customize the language about risk, add your own content and logo, and choose between five languages to make the campaign your own.
PAC and ViiV continue to promote the campaign and make it available for organizations and individuals to accurately and beautifully promote U=U and engagement in care.