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Data showing the relationship between an HIV-positive person's viral load and their HIV-negative partner's risk of acquiring HIV have been available for almost two decades. A key study, from a Ugandan cohort, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000.
However, the key evidence supporting U=U comes from three international research studies published since 2011. Each one recruited couples in which one partner was living with HIV and the other was not. Between them, HPTN 052, PARTNER, and Opposites Attract recruited over 3,000 couples. During the latter two studies, couples reported engaging in more than 74,000 episodes of condomless vaginal or anal intercourse.
Between these three studies, not a single HIV transmission was observed from an HIV-positive partner who had a durable undetectable viral load to an HIV-negative partner.