Treatment as Prevention Makes Getting to Zero HIV An Achievable Goal, Aug. 27, 2018

For Illinois HIV Care Connect, Valek & Co. development search-optimized web content, social media and other communications about how HIV treatment can prevent the transmission of the virus.

Treatment as prevention is defined as a doctor prescribing anti-HIV, or antitretroviral, medications to HIV-positive individuals. This treatment lessens the risk of passing the HIV infection to others. People living with HIV should take these medications every day, exactly as prescribed, to reduce or suppress the HIV viral load, or the amount of the HIV virus in the blood. Achieving “viral suppression” in this way prevents illness by keeping the immune system functioning normally.

The findings of recent medical studies show that people with HIV who have achieved viral suppression have little chance, and possibly zero chance, of transmitting HIV to others through sex or needle sharing. Similarly, pregnant or breast-feeding women who have achieved viral suppression have virtually no chance of passing HIV onto their babies. However, as viral load is being reduced, practicing safe sex and taking care of your physical and mental health remains very important.

As a result of these encouraging studies, Illinois is among several states and cities that have begun “Getting to Zero” HIV initiatives to gather community input, engage key stakeholders, and develop a framework for an HIV treatment and prevention plan.

@ Valek & Company 2016