'I Spent So Long Preparing To Die, I Had To Plan My Life': Artists And Activists Share Beautiful U=U Experiences

Four people candidly share their real stories because no two stories of living with HIV and finding out about U=U are the same, Postive Access campaign has launched a series of first-person experiences of love, struggle, doubt, happiness and strength.

U=U Campaign Posters

A new social marketing campaign by the Prevention Access Campaign called +series is spreading the message that U=U (Undetectable = Untranmissable).

The stories of four people are beautifully illustrated by four different artists and the videos are told in first-person narrative detailing their experience living with HIV and U=U.

U=U stands for Undetectable=Untranmissable, a research-backed understanding that if a person living with HIV is virally suppressed to the point that modern HIV tests cannot detect the virus, then they are not able to pass on HIV.

U=U is true whether or not you use a condom or if your HIV-negative partner is using PrEP or not. As long as the medication has suppressed the virus and you continue to take your medication as prescribed, you don’t need to worry about passing on HIV through sex.

Prevention Access Campaign’s +series is aimed at organisations and health departments to help them share the U=U message. The website also has customisable posters and the videos can be downloaded with subtitles available Chinese, French, Filipino and Spanish.

“The +series educates about U=U through evocative images and stories that touch on issues of stigma, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, depression, love and compassion,” PAC executive director, Bruce Richman, said in a statement. “It’s a conversation starter that goes beyond viral suppression. We are grateful to Dee Connor, Katie Willingham, Kaleb Anderson and Fernando De Hoyos for sharing their stories and to ViiV Healthcare for their support on this important campaign.”

 

Dee

“I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who was born negative.”

 

Kaleb

“I realised I could survive because treatment taught me the truth that now you could become undetectable and that meant you were also untransmittable”

 

Katie

“The message that undetectable=untranmissable was exactly what I needed to here to become my best self.”

 

Fernando

“By 1996 I was taking a combination of medications that made my viral load undetectable. I spent so long preparing to die, I had to plan my life.”

 

For more information on this campaign, visit www.positiveseries.org

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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