Many people with HIV have a strong desire to have children – and, indeed, many HIV-positive people are parents. Your HIV status doesn’t mean that you can’t think about having a family.
With the right care, HIV positive women can give birth to children without passing on HIV. Find out more about getting pregnant, staying healthy during your pregnancy and increasing your chances of having a healthy, HIV negative child.
There are a number of techniques and fertility treatments that can allow people who are living with HIV to become pregnant or father a child safely.
If you are a woman living with HIV, and your partner does not have HIV, you can use the simple technique of self-insemination to become pregnant. Another option is donor insemination.
We know now that being on effective HIV treatment means you are very unlikely to pass on HIV. If you or your partner are on HIV treatment and meet certain conditions, you may be able to have unprotected sex in order to conceive . And taking HIV treatment is crucial to preventing HIV being passed on to your baby during pregnancy and birth.
If the male partner has HIV and isn’t on treatment, or doesn’t meet these conditions, he may be able to father a child using a technique called sperm-washing.
Talk to your healthcare team about your situation and the possibilities available to you.
Adoption or fostering might be another option. Having HIV does not automatically mean you can’t adopt, but your health and circumstances would be assessed before you could apply, to ensure the child’s needs can be met.
Similarly, you can adopt or foster a child if you are single, or if you are gay or lesbian, as long as you can show that you can meet a child’s needs.
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This article was last reviewed on
by R. Bignami
Date due for the next review: 1/7/2016
Content Author: S. Corkery (NAM)
Current Owner: G. Hughson (NAM)
Townsend C et al. Low rates of mother-to-child transmission of HIV following effective pregnancy interventions in the United Kingdom and Ireland, 2000-2006. AIDS 22: 973-981, 2008
The British HIV Association (BHIVA) and the Expert Advisory Group on AIDS (EAGA) Position statement on the use of antiretroviral therapy to reduce HIV transmission, January 2013
British Association of Adoption and Fostering
NHS choices -Infertility
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
Various people talk about the effect HIV has had on their everyday health
CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau
HIV Drug Interactions
George House Trust
Equality and Human Rights Commission
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