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.

64 comments

  1. Simon Collins

    Hi Sunday, the answer to you main question is yes. If a someone has an undetectable viral load this will protect their partner from HIV. This includes if you want to have a baby with a negative partner. Please ask the NGO when they expect to have the VL test kits again.

  2. Sunday

    I was diagnosed in July . Since then , I am strictly on my ART treatment . This is my seventh month. I needed to do my VL, but, the NGO where I collect my meds said they didn’t have the test kits. My question is with an undetectable viral load, can a man give birth with normal sexual intercourse without infecting the female negative person?

  3. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Huda, do you know your viral load? As you are taking your medication every day it is likely that your viral load is below 200/undetectable. If this is the case there is no risk of transmission. This is known as U=U: https://i-base.info/guides/testing/uu-undetectable-untransmittable

    Even if your viral load is not this low, being on medication will suppress your viral load. Even a viral load that is suppressed a little bit does greatly reduce the risk of transmission.

  4. Huda

    Hi , I’m hiv post but I take my medication everyday so I’m asking that I had sex with this person that I know and we had sex without no condom so is it possible that he’s gonna get infected

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