Q and A


HIV, life expectancy and having a baby with a negative partner

Good afternoon. I am HIV positive and am on the ARVs.

I am doing great and now planing to have a child with my girlfriend but she is negative and we are afraid of infecting her.

I also worry about dying soon leaving her with the kid alone. Is there any chances of me living for more than 40 years?



Your question brings up different issues.

One is about the risk of passing HIV to your partner when you try for a baby.

The second is the fear that your partner has about this.

The third is about long-term life issues.

For the first two, if your viral load is undetectable, then in the UK you would be advised to try to conceive naturally. This is because with an undetectable viral load the risk of transmission from heterosexual vaginal sex becomes so low that it is usually an acceptable risk for people who want to have a baby.

Your partner has to be happy about this though and so reading about the latest research may help. You would only not use condoms when trying to conceive and can go back to using them afterwards, when your partner is pregnant.

See this guide to HIV and pregnancy. See especially the section on planning the pregnancy and conceiving when the women is HIV negative.

Worrying about your health is also common, especially when you are making such long-term plans. This is probably true for many men even if they are HIV negative.

Nothing is guaranteed in life, but modern treatment is very good. Many researchers now think it is realistic to plan for a normal life expectancy.

As to whether you are likely to get another 40 years, this will depend on many things, including your current age. If you are 80 now, I think it unlikely. If you are 20, 30, 40 or perhaps even 50, then this is much more likely to be possible.

It will also depend on lifestyle choices, including not smoking, eating a balanced diet, keeping physically and mentally active etc.


  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Rahul.

    For how HIV is transmitted, please see Q1 here:


  2. Rahul

    i had protected(condom was not broken) sex with a girl and i think she is hiv+ and i touched her vegina but there is no broken skin in my hand..but i feel some mild symptoms after 1 month like fever, cough, headache (not severe) and rashes on my back.. i there any chance of transmit hiv??

  3. Simon Collins

    Hi Devendra

    I am sorry that I don’t understand your question. Is your partner taking HIV meds?

  4. devendra

    I’m negative but my partner is HIV positive, then what I do?


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