Under treatment, an HIV-positive person no longer transmits HIV

Taking antiretroviral therapy makes the virus untransmissible. An information campaign of the Swiss Aid against AIDS has just started.

An HIV-positive person who takes his or her treatment on a regular basis no longer transmits HIV, including during sex without a condom. Taking antiretroviral drugs makes the virus undetectable in the blood, mucous membranes and body fluids and therefore becomes untransferable. This is the message delivered today by the “undetectable” campaign run by the Swiss Aid against AIDS. In a few days, December 1 will also be World AIDS Day.

This information is not new for HIV-positive people and their entourage or for the medical profession. In the general population, however, this message is less well known.

“At first, the Swiss declaration spoke of the absence of infectivity if a series of conditions were met. At the time, this communication was criticized and attacked by members of the scientific community and the prevention community. We had to wait for large-scale studies to confirm this, “says Andreas Lehner, Director of Swiss AIDS Relief.

Today, all doubts have been swept away. “Comprehensive studies were conducted with HIV-positive people on treatment who had unprotected sex with their partners. The results prove that from the moment the virus is undetectable, it becomes untransmissible, “he says.

A liberation

As a first step, the information was disseminated to those concerned only. The goal was to change their vision of themselves and allow them to glimpse the future with greater serenity. “The patients felt incredible relief and a lot of joy. They have lived for years with the conviction of representing a danger for others, “says Andreas Lehner.

For HIV-positive people, this information sounds like a release. They now have the opportunity to have sex without a condom and to have children without fear of transmitting HIV.

Now, the goal of Swiss AIDS Relief is to spread this message on a large scale. “It’s important to fight together against fear,” says Johanne Guex, head of the Atena Aids Valais Romand. “There is still a lot of work because the majority of prevention messages about the risk of HIV transmission in prevention campaigns are based on a perception of old HIV. The message of the Swiss declaration does not appear at all. This maintains stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive people, “notes Johanne Guex.


This discrimination is a reality for many HIV-positive people. The Swiss AIDS Foundation has registered no less than 118 HIV-related declarations of discrimination in 2017. “It can be a partner who rejects you for fear of being infected or a caregiver who refuses you as a patient or who takes disproportionate measures for a non-existent risk, “notes Andreas Lehner.

There are also many discriminations related to health insurance. Several cases involved people who were no longer receiving benefits from their sickness fund because of arrears of premiums, while they urgently needed antiretroviral therapy.

Some insurances refuse to conclude a contract with an HIV-positive person.

Some employers are afraid that an HIV-positive employee may infect collaborators or clients and adopt a discriminatory attitude. Swiss Aid notes in its report that it has not yet received as many reports of data breach and discrimination.

We can read that “their number has increased by 30% compared to the previous year”. Prevention circles hope that information on the undetectability of the virus can change the way society views HIV-positive people.

[Source :  lenouvelliste.ch]

Ecrire un commentaire