Both planned and unplanned pregnancies can have great outcomes with proper health care. Whether you’re pregnant or thinking about it, talk with your doctor or contact Oak Tree Clinic, which specializes in providing care to women living with HIV. They can talk with you about when would be a good time to start antiretroviral medication to prevent the transmission of HIV to the baby. If you’re already on antiretroviral medication, they can recommend whether you should change to a different kind that is safer for pregnancy.

If you’re already pregnant, read more about pregnancy, labour, and what happens after you give birth. If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant, read on to learn more about ways to safely conceive.

With sperm from an HIV-negative person

Women living with HIV can safely conceive without transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner. Talk with your doctor about which option may be best for you:

  • The effective use of antiretroviral medication can dramatically lower the chance of transmitting HIV to a sexual partner.
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the use of antiretroviral medication by the HIV-negative partner to lower the chance of contracting HIV during sex.
  • Alternative insemination is one way to avoid any chance of HIV transmission to a sexual partner. It can be done at home or at a fertility clinic, with sperm from a partner or a donor. Home insemination involves placing the sperm into the vagina with a syringe or eye dropper.

With sperm from a person with HIV

For couples where both partners have HIV, it is common to conceive through condomless sex. This poses a chance of transmitting different strains of HIV from one person to the other, which is a problem if drug-resistant strains are transmitted. There are some options for reducing the risk of transmission. Talk with your doctor about which option may be best for you:
  • The effective use of antiretroviral medication can dramatically lower the chance of transmitting different strains of HIV between sexual partners.
  • Alternative insemination is one way to avoid any chance of HIV transmission between sexual partners. The sperm of an HIV-positive person can be put through a procedure called sperm washing, which removes HIV from the sperm and prepares it for insemination at a fertility clinic.