Australian drag favourite Courtney Act is the face of a new campaign to raise awareness of HIV treatment and undetectable viral load (UVL).
Latest scientific evidence has concluded that people living with HIV who are successfully treated, achieving UVL, cannot pass HIV on to their sexual partners.
As a passionate advocate for LGBTI rights, including health equality, Act was enthusiastic when asked to host a video for the campaign when she was in Auckland as part of her Under The Covers tour.
“An ex-boyfriend of mine is living with HIV,” said Act.
“He has an undetectable viral load so I know first-hand how this can affect people in a serodiscordant couple—which is where one partner is HIV-negative and one is HIV-positive.
“It was great to know he could have much better health in the long run and that scientific evidence shows he was unable to pass HIV on to me, even without condoms.
“We live in a fear-based world where HIV stigma can prevail, but armed with science and facts I was able to break down the stigma in my own mind and be in a happy and healthy relationship with my partner.
“For people living with HIV, the knowledge that undetectable equals untransmittable is huge news, not only as a means of preventing transmission, but in breaking down the stigma that many people still experience.”
As an influential online personality, Act frequently discusses social issues on her own social media platforms—from discussions about gender, sexuality, HIV and STIs, through to conversations about veganism.
Ending HIV’s educational campaign about UVL will run until the end of June throughout New Zealand.