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Living with HIV: What Does the Phrase U=U Mean?

Living with HIV has come a long way since the early days of the epidemic. HIV/AIDS used to be a life-threatening disease, but now it doesn’t have to be. Over the past four decades, advancements in medicine and scientific research have transformed the landscape of HIV care and management. In response, a powerful message that has emerged is U=U (Undetectable equals Untransmittable). In this blog, we'll explore what this phrase means and how we empower our patients to lead happy and healthy lives while living with HIV.

Do Undetectable People Still Test Positive?

Being undetectable really does mean being untransmittable. When taking a viral load suppressant, you can achieve U=U status. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication is treatment that suppresses your viral load, which is the amount of HIV infection present in your body.

How Do You Get Checked if You Have HIV?

Whether you are in a relationship or not, the CDC recommends getting tested for STDs at least once a year. At Apicha, we encourage all our patients to regularly test for HIV and other STIs. Free HIV testing is available at most of our community events.

Want to test for HIV? Make an appointment today.

If you get an HIV test and test positive, your treatment will depend on when you were (or think you were) exposed. Think back to your last sexual encounter. If your exposure happened within the past 72 hours, you may be eligible for treatment via PEP. If it has been more than 72 hours, you may be eligible to start ART medication.

[SEO] What is The Main Reason Why One Should Go for HIV Testing?

Taking ART medication regularly makes the virus lie dormant inside your cells, allowing you to live life and be healthy like someone living without HIV. If you stay undetectable for at least six months after your first undetectable test result, you will be considered ‘durably’ undetectable. This means you can be living as undetectable in less than a year!

If taken properly every day, being on ART medication makes it nearly impossible for you to spread HIV. And knowing this can lower any anxiety you have about infecting your sexual partner(s).

Apicha encourages all of its HIV-positive patients to become durably undetectable because of its positive impact on mental health. Limiting sources of stress in your life will positively impact your mental wellbeing. An undetectable status not only provides you with peace of mind, but also helps to destigmatize what it means to live with HIV.

What HIV Services Does Apicha Provide?

If you, or someone you know has HIV, consider starting antiretroviral therapy (ART). If you are unsure if ART is the right decision for you, make an appointment to speak with one of our HIV specialists. Not all treatments are the same, but there is one that is best for you. We also offer aftercare support services like diet and nutrition management.

Free Testing

We provide completely confidential HIV and STD testing services at Apicha CHC. To sign up for our HIV Testing services, click here and select HIV/STD testing from the drop down.

HIV Prevention

If you have been exposed to HIV in the past 72 hours, you may be eligible for PEP.

If you are currently HIV negative and are interested in PrEP to prevent HIV (the daily pill or injectable form), we can help. You will be assigned a medical provider at Apicha CHC who will assess whether PrEP is right for you.

HIV Treatment

If you know you're HIV-positive and need a medical provider, let us take care of you and learn if ART medication is right for you.

You can request an appointment online via our website or by calling 212-334-6029.

Our PrEP & PEP staff can also help you:

Enroll in insurance or sign you up for special PrEP cost programs

Set up your appointments

Remind you when your pills are running out

You can easily pick-up your prescription at Apicha CHC's brand new in-house pharmacy or you can use our free delivery service!

You can request an appointment to get started on PrEP or PEP here at either our Manhattan or Jackson Heights locations.