Q and A

Question

I am an HIV positive man, can I have a baby?

I am very much interested to know if someone with a CD4 count of above 500 and an undetectable viral load can make a woman pregnant without infecting her with the virus?

Or does it mean once you have HIV your chance of having your own child is a dead end?

Or is there any other way to have your own child without infecting either the woman or the child?

Answer

Being HIV positive should not stop you having a baby. Many sero-different couples (where one partner is positive and the other is negative), have had healthy HIV negative babies.

Your second question was whether it is possible to have an HIV negative baby without passing HIV onto your your girlfriend or baby. The answer is yes. However, this will depend on a number of factors.

Firstly, you would have to on antiretroviral treatment (ART) with an undetectable viral load. Are you taking treatment?

Secondly, both of you should be checked for STIs (Sexually Transmitted infections). This is good practice whenever two people are planning a pregnancy. STIs can sometimes increase the risk of passing on HIV to your negative partner.

Thirdly, the chance of conceiving is highest when your girlfriend is ovulating. Ovulation takes place in the middle of the woman’s monthly cycle. This is about 14 days before her period.

This link the the pregancny guide to is about how sero-different couples can conceive naturally. The guide also lists other conception options.

You may also find it useful to read the Swiss Statement. This describes the transmission risk for someone who is on stable HIV treatment as ‘negligible’ and ‘similar to risks of daily life’. It is difficult to put a percentage risk on this.

When you and your girlfriend decide you are ready to have a baby,  you should speak to your doctor who will be to advise and assist you accordingly.

Good luck with your plans.

This answer was updated in January 2016 from a question posted on 26 March 2012.

58 comments

  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Omar,

    Are you saying that your viral load is less then 20 copies ml? If you, there’s no risk to your partner.
    If a child is going to contract HIV it’s from their mother. However, the mother needs to be HIV positive.

  2. Omar

    Hey i am hiv positive and I am <20 and my girlfriend is already pregnant and she s hiv negative can the baby be born hiv negative ?

  3. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Donny,

    If a baby is going to contract HIV, it will be from their HIV positive mother. If your partner isn’t positive then there’s no risk at all. As you’re undetectable, you can have sex without a condom, you won’t infect your partner.

  4. Donny

    Hi!
    I’m currently undetectable and my health is unaffected and I haven’t had a reason to be fearful of my diagnosis. However I have my doubts about having kids at this time. If I want to have a child but without having intercourse with the mother, is it still possible for the baby to have HIV?

  5. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Bs,

    The good news is yes, this is absolutely possible.

    Your husband needs to be taking HIV treatment (ART) and have an undetectable viral load. So, if he is taking ART, it looks like his meds are working well.

    This is good news for couples in this situation. Please see this page from the guide to HIV pregnacy and women’s health.

  6. Bs

    Hi my husband is hiv positive on May we went to the doctor and they found out that he is undectable <20 and I am negative we want a baby is it possible to have 1?

  7. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Clinton,

    I’m sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis.

    Please can you let us know what the doctor said? Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate is a drug used to treat HIV. But if you are HIV positive you need more than this one drug for your own treatment, and also for protecting your girlfriend from HIV.

    Pills for HIV often have 3 or more drugs in one. Please let us know if there are more drugs mentioned on the bottle or box.

    Here’s an Introduction to HIV treatment (called ART). There’s a lot of info in this about starting treatment.

  8. Clinton

    Good day… Am Clinton…I was tested today 27th January 2020 HIV positive.. And I was given some anti-hiv drugs “”” tenofovir disoproxil fumarate””” is this drug strong enough to prevent me from transmitting it to my girlfriend.? Am 22years old.thanks

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