Contextualizing U=U at Countries in Asia

By July 27, 2021 Learning, Newsroom, Regional

PHASE 3: INTEGRATE

U=U often does not appear in national HIV guidelines. Nobody is promoting U=U, especially from  healthcare providers.

The principle of U=U is a research finding that has generated wide call for its immediate use especially in disseminating its key message that a PLHIV with an undetectable viral load has ZERO RISK of transmitting the virus. It is a landmark finding, when used strategically, will address the cross-cutting issues that affect the PLHIV community. It has the potential to dismantle self-stigma, stigma and discrimination in the healthcare setting, drive awareness and generate demand for ART, addressing barriers to access to life-saving ART, and decrease in LTFU by promoting adherence. However, the principle of U=U will be an effective tool as part of HIV response only if it is integrated in the national HIV programming.

Community-based organisations and service providers are faced with the challenge of successfully integrating the messaging of U=U into programming as there is no current existing model that can be based on.

It has been an experience in program implementation, especially those supported by USAID, the third 90 of the targets, only 60% of the PLHIV on ART receive viral test over the last year. How will the U=U help in making sure that the gap is addressed in terms of wider access to ART and more PLHIV are virally suppressed in the countries. The approach on this phase will be dependent on the first 2 phases. The country activities for this Phase have not been designed yet. APCOM, together with country partners, will design this phase after the first 2 are completed.


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