Few issues in HIV are more controversial than HIV-infected individuals having children. Even when adopting a child, people with HIV may be criticized because their disease may cause illness that could interfere with parental responsibilities. Obviously, the possibility of the child becoming an orphan is also an issue. However, people with HIV who are taking anti-HIV medications (when needed) are living longer, healthier lives. Sure there are side effects and some potentially dangerous toxicities, but most HIV-infected people are experiencing an improved overall quality of life. For some individuals, wanting to have children may be a natural instinct. The reality is that although some people may plan to have children, there are still unplanned pregnancies. But medicine has made great progress in developing treatment that improves the newborn's chance of being born without HIV infection. Several articles in this issue of HIV Treatment ALERTS! look at some of the medical, as well as emotional, aspects of human reproduction where at least one partner is infected with HIV. These articles include quotes from HIV-positive women in Houston. Also included in this issue are some important questions in the patient/doctor Q&A section, treatment news, clinical trial information, and helpful phone numbers and Web sites. Remember that words in bold are explained on the "Definitions" page.
We may not have a cure for HIV yet, but every day brings us a little closer.
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