Because of highly effective antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, numerous HIV-positive people are living healthy and productive lives. This has allowed many of us to pursue long-term goals and ambitions, such as starting and raising a family.
While having children is definitely an option for HIV-positive women (and men), it requires careful planning with a health care provider. This includes "preconception" planning—exploring available options to help you conceive—and taking necessary steps during pregnancy (whether its planned or unplanned) to protect your health and your baby's.
The good news is that there are many ways to plan a healthy pregnancy and a number of strategies to help you reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to your infant.
This lesson reviews the various factors that go into having a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery. Whether you're thinking of starting a family or are already pregnant, we hope that you will familiarize yourself with the amazing medical advances reviewed in these pages and discuss your various options with your health care team.
It can be hard to deal with the judgmental attitudes of people, including doctors, who think that it is morally wrong for HIV-positive women to become pregnant and have children. If your health care provider isn't supportive or is being judgmental, it's your right to find someone who will be supportive.