Positively Adopted

Life with children who have HIV

Can adults with HIV have children?

Yes, there are several options for people with HIV who want to have biological children.

  • For women who are HIV positive, the safest option is probably inter-uterine insemination (also called artificial insemination). 

If an HIV positive mother takes the proper precautions during pregnancy and delivery, the chances of passing the virus on to the baby are less than 2%.

  • For men there is the option of "sperm washing" which is a process in which a man’s sperm are washed free of HIV in a laboratory before being inserted into an egg.

Another option is for the HIV negative partner to protect themselves by taking a medication called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. Some couples choose to have unprotected intercourse while taking PrEP in order to conceive 'the old fashioned way', but this should be decided with a doctor's supervision and only during peak fertility. The risk of transmission using this method is fairly low.

There is also the wonderful and fulfilling option of adoption!

"Women with HIV who start treatment early and maintain it throughout their pregnancy very rarely pass HIV to their babies."

- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

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