My Response to Someone Who Denies Undetectable = Untransmittable
I will try to explain with humility and respect the reason why it hurts us to deny the truth and not support the science that says that undetectable = untransmittable.
This was a response to a person I will not name because this is about all of us living with #hiv and our allies! I believe in respect above all and each individual has the human right to express himself! But, sometimes they hurt us and in many cases without that intention. I hope you understand the human side ... love and light.
With a lot of respect!! If I'm not mistaken, are you HIV negative? Please, what you say hurts my community and me! Understand that people who have been living with this virus for many years (most likely what you have been on this Earth) that has been devastating in many ways, we are happy with this news that it is not just anything!!! Understand that pioneers since this condition was talked about, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the NIH director and a person who has been involved since ACT UP NY!! And that is the director of the NIH!!! Do you know what the NIH is? The National Institutes of Health in the United States of America!!! UNAIDS, IAPAC!! Which is nothing more or nothing less than the international association of doctors and scientists investigating and treating everything that has to do with HIV and many many more accepted what they had hidden for 10 years! I ask you as a friend or a human being with great humility, do not do us any more harm!! I know that in your mind maybe you do not see it like that, but it hurts us a lot and it takes away that happiness from feeling non-infectious! I was detectable! I did not have access to medicine for many years!!! We are giving incentive to adherence, for people to disclose fearlessly, it helps us with self-stigma and this same information will be used by human rights activists to pressure governments to give medical access to all their citizens. Actually and in all sincerity as I told you: I strongly believe that if someone does not believe in U Equals U, you cannot believe in treatment as prevention, PrEP or condoms! I have been doing this work for 18 years and we know that the safest way to not get HIV is abstinence!!! And yet you can acquire HIV in other ways! We also ask you to continue using condoms??? And so??? Is it 100%??? It is not either! But exaggerating the risk is not right and we know that.
Using condoms correctly, it is impossible to transmit the virus or any other STIs!! Can it happen to 1 person? It can, but we cannot go against condoms!!! You understand me? The same with PrEP (and the promotion of it says "to prevent HIV") then what do I do? Should I go against PrEP? I say that the virus can be transmitted or what is possible even if they say it prevents it???? I have and we must all support PrEP! Treatment as prevention! Another tool we use and that is almost the same as u equals u!! Should I not support TASP, because there may be 1 possibility of transmission???? NO! We must support it too!!! Going against u equals u is going against science and most importantly all of us who live with HIV, because you awaken a fear in others who do not have much knowledge and they fear us! Fear that we have fought for many years!!! So at the end the only method that is 100% would be that they do not have sex with us???!!!! That they should be afraid of us for that almost null minimum of risk? That we have more stigma and continue to exaggerate the risk "as they themselves admitted in Paris." I had to live 18 years undetectable and afraid not to hurt my partner of 10 years! Me and everyone else deserved to know! And this is part of our history and it will be THAT! We are not going to allow ANYONE to stigmatize us anymore and as they said "they did not think we were responsible" so you will find passion with this in particular! And above all of us who have been living with this virus for almost 30 years! It hurts a lot when someone denying it is HIV negative, but much more when it is our own community or a true ally. That is my reality and my truth with a lot of respect and dignity.
[Note from TheBody.com: This article was originally published by The Well Project on Aug. 23, 2017. We have cross-posted it with their permission.]