Someone asked us:
My boyfriend has HIV and we always wear condoms as a result, but we’ve always wanted to have children together and have danced around the fact our condom use prevents that. Is there anything we can do to have children with IVF while still keeping me (and our future babies) safe?
Good news! Mixed-status couples can have perfectly healthy children without spreading HIV. Here’s what you need to know:
Look into something called “sperm washing.” Sperm washing can remove HIV from semen, making it safe to use for fertility procedures (like artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization).
If the person who is looking to get pregnant is HIV positive, then artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization is the way to go, along with following a doctor’s advice for treatment throughout pregnancy. Additionally, people living with HIV/AIDS should NOT breastfeed their babies. Along with semen, vaginal fluids, and blood, HIV is also carried in breast milk, so nursing can pass the virus to their child.
At the end of the day, your best bet is to find a doctor who knows about this stuff and work with them to figure out what makes the most sense for you.
Finally, whether or not y’all are trying to get pregnant, look into backing up those condoms with PReP to further reduce your risk of HIV transmission.
-Mylanie at Planned Parenthood