In the last decade, reliable scientific evidence has emerged to support the concept that undetectable viral loads prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Undetectable equals untransmissible (U = U) is a simple message that everyone can understand. The success of this concept depends on strict adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and the attainment of suppressed viral loads (VLs). To achieve U = U in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), poor adherence to ART, persistent low-level viremia, and the emergence of drug-resistant mutants are challenges that cannot be overlooked. Short of a cure for HIV, U = U can substantially reduce the burden and change the landscape of HIV epidemiology on the continent. From a public health perspective, the U = U concept will reduce stigmatization in persons living with HIV (PLWHIV) in SSA and strengthen public opinion to accept that HIV infection is not a death sentence. This will also promote ART adherence because PLWHIV will aim to achieve U = U within the shortest possible time. This article highlights challenges and barriers to achieving U = U and suggests how to promote the concept to make it beneficial and applicable in SSA. This concept, if expertly packaged by policy-makers, clinicians, health service providers, and HIV control programs, will help to stem the tide of the epidemic in SSA.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||International journal of environmental research and public health|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2020|
- Anti-retroviral therapy
- Clinical practice
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- U = U