Updated: July, 2015
Everything we have known about HIV has changed – and for the better.
We now know that effective treatment can help stop HIV being passed on. New advances in testing for and treating the virus mean ending HIV is within our reach.
By working together we can reduce HIV transmission by 80% by the year 2020 if: negative men and men who aren’t sure of their status test more, positive men treat early, and we all continue to stay safe.
AND THAT’S WHERE YOU COME IN
As an HIV positive guy, you play a crucial role in ending HIV – and it all begins with treatments. We already know the role treatment plays in allowing pos guys to lead a long and healthy life. It even puts pos guys on an even playing field with neg guys when it comes to life expectancy. The big news is that being on treatment also reduces the amount of HIV (viral load) present in the body, and for most guys to an undetectable level. And with an undetectable viral load, it is much less likely for the virus to be passed on.
WHY TREATMENT IS KEY
Right now approximately 50 to 60% of positive guys are on treatment, but in order to end HIV we need to see at least 90% on treatment. By treating and suggesting your friends do the same, we can achieve these numbers to help end HIV by 2020.
If you have been HIV positive for some time and not on treatment yet, then consider this: treatment will allow you to lead a long and healthy life. It is one of the most important conversations you can have with your doctor.
If you’re newly diagnosed as HIV positive, early treatment is particularly important. Research shows that early, if not immediate, treatment increases life expectancy, improves health and prevents serious illness by more than 50% compared to those who delay starting treatment. Also, an important fact is that you are most infectious within the first 6 months of contracting the virus and treatment will help reduce the amount of HIV in your body and the risk of passing the virus on.
Once on treatment, it’s important to continue to monitor your viral load through regular testing to ensure it keeps lowering or remains undetectable. Recent findings from the PARTNER study has shown that those with an undetectable viral load have, at most, a 4% chance of transmitting HIV during anal sex, meaning you’re much less likely to pass HIV on to sexual partners.
STAYING SAFE TOGETHER
Yes, treating for positive guys (and testing regularly for negative guys) will work to end HIV by 2020, but only if we continue to be safe by using condoms. They remain the best protection against passing on HIV.
If you do happen to fuck without a condom, it is important to know and practice other risk reduction strategies to help protect yourself and your partners. However, be aware that you are not eliminating the risk of passing on HIV altogether. Fucking without condoms always involves the highest degree of risk – obvious and not-so-obvious. Just know the risk before you take it. There are also legal requirements for disclosure that you need to be aware of.
NOTE: The NSW Public Health Act makes it clear that a person who knows they have HIV is guilty of an offence if he or she has sexual intercourse with another person unless, before intercourse takes place the other person has been informed of this and voluntarily accepts the risk of contracting HIV.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you have any questions, simply post them using the ‘ASK US‘ tool found on this website.
As an HIV positive guy you can do a lot to end HIV by 2020, but only if we all work together to make it happen.WHAT YOU CAN DO