Aug 20, 2008
i am hiv pos and would like to conceive the natural way. can i talk to my doc about what steps to take or if i have to be on certain medication before i start trying. and is it safe to give birth the natural way.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Having children is definitely an option for HIVers, but it requires careful planning with an HIV specialist and HIV-knowledgeable obstetrician. Sexual and nonsexual conception options are available to positive and magnetic couples:
1. Unprotected sex: If the man is positive and the woman is negative or vice versa, there is a risk of HIV transmission. But if the positive partner's HIV plasma viral load is undetectable, the risk of HIV transmission decreases significantly. Other ways to reduce the chance of transmission include pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a short course of HIV drugs given to the negative partner before sex to reduce the chances of infection and timed intercourse so that unprotected sex occurs only during times of peak ovulation when chance for pregnancy is greatest.
2. Artificial insemination. In utero fertilization or IUF (placing a partner's or a donor's semen inside the vagina or uterus) or in vitro fertilization or IVF (mixing sperm with an egg in a test tube and then placing the fertilized egg in the uterus) are options. Sperm washing, whereby HIV is removed form the semen sample, can also be done before IUF or IVF if the man is positive.
Take a read through the archives of this forum. We have an entire chapter devoted to pregnancy that will provide further information.
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