Evidences on the absence of risk of sexual transmission of HIV by persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) with undetectable plasma HIV-RNA (HIV-RNA <200 copies/ml) led to the worldwide campaign “U = U” (undetectable = untransmittable). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perceived accuracy of this message among PLWHA, HIV-negative people having unprotected sex (PHUS) and Infectious diseases’ (ID) physicians in Italy. A nationwide survey has been conducted using three different anonymous questionnaires (for ID physicians, PLWHA and PHUS). A total of 1121 participants filled the questionnaires: 397 PLWHA; 90 physicians; 634 PHUS. Awareness of U = U message has been reported in 74%, 92% and 47% of PLWHA, ID physicians and PHUS, respectively. The perception of accuracy of the U = U message among those aware was reported as high in 80.4%, 79.5% and 67.3% of PLWHA, ID physicians and PHUS, respectively. Physicians perceived that 11% of PLWHA have a high rate of perception of U = U, whereas among PLWHA, only 34% reported definitive positive messages from physicians. Discrepancies between awareness and perception of accuracy of the message U = U in PLWHA and physicians have been found, suggesting still low confidence in the community regarding the message itself.
HIV; Undetectable; U = U; accuracy; awareness; untransmittable.