|Please give advise on getting pregnant
Nov 22, 2000
My husband and I have been married for almost 8 years. I am HIV+ and my husband is negative. We would very much like to add a child to our lives, however every medical professional I've ever been to see will not touch me or our situation with a ten foot pole. Can you advise me on any studies or give any advise? My husband and I use condoms and are not going to risk the chance of him getting infected by not using one. We are looking for alternative methods.
Response from Dr. Luzuriaga
Yours is an important decision and I would urge to learn as much as you can in order to make an informed decision. For background information on mother-to-child transmission of HIV, please see "Having a Baby When You're HIV Positive" in the AIDS Basics and Prevention section of this web site. One of the most important determinants of transmission is maternal viral load -- the risk of transmission increases in women with high viral loads and is extremely low (< 1% but not nil) in women with undetectable viral loads. For a review of the use of antivirals in pregnancy to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, please see the Treatment Guidelines for the Use of Antiretrovirals During Pregnancy, available form the treatment guidelines section of this web site. You might also find the following answers to previous questions on this Forum helpful:
"HIV+, Considering Pregnancy" (10.23.00)
"Long-term survivor, want a baby" (04.10.00)
"C-section or not" (03.15.00)
It is also important that you discuss your options with a provider who is comfortable with dealing with issues around HIV and women (including pregnancy). I would urge you to ask around to see whether there is someone in your location or in a location that you could easily travel to that you could talk with.
Because your partner is HIV negative, unprotected intercourse runs the risk of infecting your partner (even if you have undetectable viral load). One way around this is to consider the options of artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization.
Katherine Luzuriaga, M.D.
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