Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that weakens your immune system by infiltrating your body’s white blood cells (CD4 or T-cells). Overtime, if HIV is left untreated, the immune system becomes compromised and vulnerable to infection. These are called opportunistic infections and are the reason testing is so important; you can have HIV and not know it.
Due to the effectiveness of medications, people living with HIV (PLWHIV) have long and full lives like everyone else. This is not to say HIV does not still present challenges but many PLWHIV say their greatest challenge is dealing with the stigma surrounding HIV.
The U=U campaign aims to reduce stigma through education. U=U means that when a person living with HIV has an undetectable viral load (the amount of HIV virus in the body), the virus in untransmittable.
ASAP Science – The Science of HIV and AIDS
HIV Disclosure Laws
See Canada.ca for information about when HIV must be disclosed to a sexual partner.