HIV-positive men with an undetectable viral load reaches a record high in Australia.
The Centre for Social Research in Health at the University of New South Wales released the new research which shows that 92 per cent of gay and bisexual men living with HIV have an undetectable viral load – meaning the virus cannot be passed on.
This result is a record high for the third year running and is the latest statistic showing the effectiveness of treatment as prevention (TasP).
Co-founder of The Institute of Many, Nic Holas, told the Star Observer: “This is such welcome and exciting news: gay and bisexual men in Australia have hit the 90 per cent global targets for getting onto treatment and being undetectable.
“Now, we need two things: for all people living with HIV to do the same; and for everyone (HIV-positive and HIV-negative) to learn, accept and believe that U=U.
“We need to radically shift the outdated ideas about HIV/Aids in this country. Stigma and ignorance is still killing us.”
The report also found that gay men with casual partners using PrEP has increased from one per cent in 2013 to 16 per cent in 2017.
Gay Community Periodic Surveys Project Leader Professor Martin Holt added: “PrEP and treatment as prevention (TasP) are becoming increasingly popular HIV prevention strategies used by gay and bisexual men, particularly those well connected to the urban gay community networks.
“Now that PrEP is available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the challenge is to achieve greater prevention coverage of all people at risk of HIV, including those who are Medicare-ineligible, in order to achieve targets for the elimination of HIV transmission.”