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+and having a baby
May 18, 2004

I am an hiv+ female, my husband is also +. We were both diagnosed this past Sep., out of coincidence as my husband had just gotten health ins and wanted a physical. He had thrush in his mouth(which we didn't realise was a symptom) and so the dr. did an hiv test and it came back +. WE were so devastated as it was so unexpected. His t-cells at that time were 14, so he started taking meds which had awful side effects, his count went up to 200 in the space of a few months but then he stopped taking his meds because they were making him feel so sick. I'm physically fine, my t-cells are about 380. He is very sick right now and in the hospital for the last 9 days. He has MAI and has been having awful pains in his stomach and can't keep anything down. He has lost 30 pds, and has had to go out on disability from work.

Thats my background which i just wanted to fill u in on. My question although is about having a baby. Before we were diagnosed obviously we hadn't been using any protection for like 4 years and yet i never got pregnant. We are not sure if we can have a baby. We are going to get that checked out when he is feeling better but we both really want one. Can having AIDS affect your sperm? I would be devastated if we couldn't. I know i would have to be on meds which i'm not on yet thank god but if it mean't having a baby i would start taking them in a heartbeat. Anyway, my question is, is there anyway that we could adopt or get a baby any other way if we can't conceive naturally. I know the outlook is not very good but i would just like your input. Thanks

Wants a baby

Response from Dr. Lee

It is in your best interest for you and your husband to optimize your health before taking on a child. However, there are certainly people who are choosing pregnancy even in the situation you describe. I would really recommend that you talk to your doctor (and his doctor) about the specific concerns of you possibly acquiring his virus while attempting a pregnancy. You may have different strains and it is not a good idea for you to have re-infection with additional strains. Some places are doing sperm washing to reduce the chance of transmission. (The sperm are not necessarily affected by HIV, but the semen carries it.)

Adoption is often difficult and expensive even in the best situations. Where you live and what the specific laws and agency policies are will make a difference, so I don't have specific info for you on that issue.

Be well.


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