Understanding [+U] & Undetectable HIV Viral Load

Sydney Artist Campbell Clarkson inventor of the [+U] symbol

Sydney Artist Campbell Clarkson inventor of the [+U] symbol

You may have noticed that many online profiles on Scruff, Growler and other social apps are now showing “[+U]” after their profile name. This is a way of showing that a person is HIV positive but also they are on HIV treatment that has lead to an undetectable HIV viral load.

So what does undetectable HIV levels mean?

Literally it means that the treatment has pushed the levels of HIV virus so low that they are unable to be detected with modern HIV tests. Undetectable HIV load is an indicator of successful treatment.

From a “transmission” perspective, recent studies indicate that people with undetectable HIV levels have an extremely low chance of being able to transmit HIV to other people.

The following video created by ACON here in Australia helps explain this:

What Does Undetectable HIV Levels Mean?

There is still moderate confusion around the [+U] symbol, please feel free to share and help inform and educate your friends.

Remember, understanding HIV starts with getting a HIV test. Get tested, consider treatments or PrEP and practice sexual activities that reduce risk for your sexual partners.

You can learn more about HIV by reviewing the videos in the HIV FAQ

Dr George AKA The Healthy Bear

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