New editions of The basics leaflets

NAM has recently updated nine titles from its series of leaflets,The basics. These illustrated leaflets provide a simple and easy-to-understand introduction to key HIV issues.

The basics use pictures to help break down and illustrate complex health information. Each leaflet focuses on one topic, covering key facts, and includes an ‘important points’ section and information on where the reader can find out more on the topic. They are particularly useful for people who do not have a prior understanding of HIV or whose first language isn’t English and are designed to support discussions between health professionals and people living with HIV.

The updated titles are:


Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U)

U=U stands for Undetectable = Untransmittable. It means that when a person living with HIV is on regular treatment that lowers the amount of virus in their body to undetectable levels, there is zero risk of passing on HIV to their partners. The low level of virus is described as an undetectable viral load. 

All of The basics leaflets are available to view online at and in print through NAM’s patient information scheme.

The new editions have been updated to reflect recent research and current guidelines. For example, the leaflets reflect the evidence that when a person has an undetectable viral load, their chance of passing on HIV to a sexual partner is zero ('Undetectable equals Untransmittable' or U=U). Having a baby has been revised in line with new British HIV Association guidelines, particularly its guidance on breastfeeding. Treatment for hepatitis C has improved rapidly over the last few years and this has been reflected in the updated hepatitis C leaflets.

We are very grateful to all the professionals, people living with HIV and people with personal experience of hepatitis who have helped us to develop these leaflets.

NAM has Information Standard certification for its patient information resources. The basics also carry the Crystal Mark, the Plain English Campaign’s seal of approval for the clarity of documents.

Many titles in The basics series are also available in other languages. You can find them on our translations pages.

NAM’s Patient Information Subscription Scheme

UK-based HIV and GUM clinics can order copies of The basics, and our information booklets, through our online portal as part of our patient information subscription.

To find out if your clinic is registered or for information on joining the scheme, please contact Susan at or call 020 7837 6988.