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Thinking about having a baby

african baby

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.

Can I have a baby if I have HIV?

With the right care, HIV positive women can give birth to children without passing on HIV. There are also options for couples where both partners are HIV positive and where only the male partner has HIV.

In this section you'll find out:

and much more about getting pregnant, staying healthy during your pregnancy and increasing your chances of having a healthy, HIV negative child.

How can I get pregnant or father a child without passing on HIV?

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.

What if we can't conceive?

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.

Get free support:

Next: Getting pregnant ››



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The Information Standard: Certified member

This article was last reviewed on 21/7/2014 by R. Bignami

Date due for the next review: 1/7/2017

Content Author: S. Corkery (NAM)

Current Owner: G. Hughson (NAM)

More information:

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