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    HIV and pregnancy
    evry1luvsmnms posted:
    My husband is HIV positive, undectable, and been under control with medication for 3 years. We are considering having a child, I have always tested negative for HIV. What are the options to conceive? What are the risks the child can be positive? I know it is possible to have a healthy child. Any information would be much appreciated. Please keep in mind we are a single family income, and outrageous medical procedures are not possible. Thank you
    georgiagail responded:
    Your best chance of avoiding transmission through unprotected intercourse is, of course, by using sperm from a male not infected with the virus. Some discordant/magnetic couples chose to go this route via sperm bank donations.

    Other options are through "sperm washing" of the male who is positive:

    This tends to reduce...but may not totally eliminate...the risk of transmission to the woman or the child.

    David J Malebranche, MD, MPH responded:
    Thanks for the question,

    It would be difficult to give you precise numbers on this and what the risks would be to you in the case you did want to conceive with your husband. What I can tell you is that the most important aspect of whether the baby is born HIV positive is the MOTHER's HIV status. That said, you being negative is a good thing, because its the mother's blood that directly supplies the baby while s/he is growing in your womb. If you were HIV positive, medications could be given that would reduce the baby's chances of contracting HIV to almost zero! Its practically unheard of that babies are born HIV positive when the mother is HIV positive nowadays.

    So you have a couple of options:

    1. You could try to conceive the natural way, which some couples do when the father is positive and mother negative, but the primary issue is whether you contract the virus from that encounter. The fact that your husband is undetectable is a great thing in this scenario, and some couples have done this without mother or baby contracting the virus. If you have already been having sex without a condom with your husband, and you're still negative, this may be a good sign that you can do this without putting yourself or your baby at risk.

    2. You could pursue sperm washing, which costs about $1000 and you would have to go to a special fertility clinic for that.

    Two links I want to give you: the first is an article from about this very topic:

    The second is for the American Fertility Association:

    Their phone number is (888) 917-3777 and they provide counseling and suggestions for resources for situations like yours. It may be dependent upon where you live in the country what is available to you.

    Good luck, I hope this info helps, and please let us know how it turns out regardless! You are right that your husband's status should not stop you from conceiving, you just have to get plugged in to the right people.

    evry1luvsmnms replied to David J Malebranche, MD, MPH's response:

    Thanks so much, and honestly we have had intercourse with out protection and I have always tested negative, for which I am grateful, however we do want a child with both of our genes....I will keep you posted on the outcome..thanks for your support and all the information!!
    Angelic35 replied to georgiagail's response:
    I work in the HIV field and I have come in contact with clients who want to become pregnant and the mom is negative. One couple talked about the mother being put on HIV meds to help with the exposure to the virus. Its just like if a healthcare worker is exposed to the virus that person is automatically put on retrovirals for 6 weeks and tested after. But the couple also said that condoms was used but holes was put in it so that she would be less exposed to the virus. She is still negative. But i guess you really have to be willing to go this route knowing that its still a chance you could become positive. Sperm washing is a good way to go but its very expensive. Plus alot people dont know is that its not the sperm that infected its the semen. So basically they are just seperating the sperm from the semen.
    chickflickcherry responded:
    I have to thank you for bringing this situation with you and your husband to light. I have been searching for other discordant couples and information on sperm-washing and invitro procedures for months. . . there are not many discussion topics related to this subject or information pertaining to prices and success rates of sperm-washing etc. My fiance is HIV (controlled on meds and physically healthy) and I am negative (thankfully, since we slip up sometimes too). It's a very difficult siutation to adjust to when it comes to using protection constantly with the person that is your husband. But we are much like you and your husband, in that we would like to have a child of our own. . . we recognize that this will be challenging, but are willing to put in the work (and money). Thanks for bringing this topic to the discussion board. It makes me feel not quite so alone in our situation.
    angelbaby80 responded:
    How did things turn out for you? I'm in a similar situation and would really like to hear how things went for you two.
    georgiagail replied to angelbaby80's response:
    The previous posts are 3 years old.
    angelbaby80 replied to georgiagail's response:
    Thanks georgiagail. I did see the age of the post. @ evry1luvsmnms I was just wondering were you able to have your baby through natural conception? Also were you able to remain negative?
    georgiagail replied to angelbaby80's response:
    I'm not HIV positive.


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