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Sadly, myths and stigma still exist for those living with HIV.

Today, it is a reality that we have come incredibly far in our understanding of HIV, but it is also true that there are myths and stigma attributed to persons who have a positive HIV status that persist even now.

Feeling of shame can be very powerful and stigma itself can make it difficult to open up when we need support the most, especially for minority communities who may have already felt shame having experienced forms of prejudice from others around them. We decided to make sure you had a useful and relevant resource to understand some of the issues surrounding HIV and what is understood about HIV for those engaged in ‘ChemSex’.

When speaking to people about HIV, particularly for healthcare professionals, it’s important to use language that is appropriate and inclusive. The words you use as a clinician have the power to overcome or to re-enforce feelings of shame for those living with HIV, especially if those people are also engaged in ‘ChemSex’.

Luckily, the George House Trust have produced an amazing guide all about the language of HIV which can be found here.

Now that we have your attention, let’s listen to the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Janet Potter from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)…

The Crown Prosecution Service guidance on HIV transmission cases is clear that U=U, check out this link

Check out the video below from Sister Bang Bang on HIV and ‘ChemSex’ below.


HIV is a virus which weakens the human immune system, our body’s first defence against illness.  HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus.  If left undiagnosed and untreated HIV can cause damage to the immune system which can leave people vulnerable to other infections.


HIV is a long-term health condition that is easily manageable with medication. People living with HIV and on treatment can expect to live a normal life span.

HIV treatment effectively reduces the amount of the virus in the body to the point where it cannot be detected.

This means that people who are on effective HIV treatment with an undetectable viral load cannot pass HIV on during sex.

HIV treatment has made huge advances.

However public perceptions and societal knowledge about HIV have not kept up at the same pace. Only 16% of the public are aware of what U=U means (undetectable = untransmittable) yet being undetectable is the reality for most people living with HIV in the UK.

The science is clear. Undetectable = Untransmittable. U=U.

We believe that fear around HIV transmission can fuel HIV stigma, and that the U=U message is one of the most powerful ways in which HIV stigma will be defeated and we can live in a world where HIV holds no one back.