Published January, 2011

Becoming a Positive Parent: Reproductive Options for People with HIV, Hadley Leggett, BETA (2011)

This article is a useful resource for HIV positive individuals who want to have children. It discusses in detail issues of HIV and fertility, prevention of transmission to partners and infants, and how pregnancy can affect HIV progression.

The relationship between HIV and fertility is complicated, but there is some research discussed here that suggests HIV may somewhat impair fertility in both men and women. The article also describes how serodiscordant heterosexual couples in which the female partner has HIV, same-sex female couples, or single women with HIV can do home insemination to avoid transmission when attempting to conceive. Options mentioned in the article for heterosexual couples where the male partner has HIV or same-sex male couples include using antiretroviral medications to reduce viral load, pre-exposure prophylaxis for the HIV negative partner, sperm washing and in-vitro fertilization, though cost and time may be barriers for the last two. Antiretroviral treatment is available for women before, during and after birth to reduce the chance of transmission to the infant.

The article also includes resources about adoption and resources specific to same-sex couples.

For more information about the legal rights and issues surrounding HIV and pregnancy, please see: HIV and Pregnancy: Medical and Legal Considerations for Women and Their Advocates