What Does Undetectable Mean?
When you go for check ups at your Treatment Site, they draw blood to test the number of HIV cells still in the body. The doctor’s goal is for the viral load to be undetectable, meaning that there are fewer than 50 copies of the virus per milliliter (ml) of your blood sample. The exact number for undetectable can vary depending on the national guidelines, and your healthcare provider will keep you informed.
The graphic below helps to show what undetectable viral load means. Before ART, you can see many copies of HIV in the sample of blood. After some time taking ART as prescribed, the virus stops reproducing in the body and there are just a few copies of the virus in the sample of blood.
Undetectable is a good thing! It means your viral load is low.
When you adhere to your Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) regimen as recommended by your doctor(s), you can achieve this result.
What Is U=U?
The first U in this means Undetectable as we just discussed. The second U means Untransmittable.
Undetectable means that you can no longer transmit the virus to a sexual partner! A person with HIV who maintains an undetectable viral load can stay healthy and will not transmit HIV to their sex partners. It does not mean that you are cured.
U = U means Undetectable = Untransmittable
This difficult journey just got a bit easier, but it is not over yet. We still need to take care of our bodies and remain healthy. In doing so,we will be able to live long and healthy lives.