Growing Your Family

 

What you should know if you are a man living with HIV who wants to have a baby

If you want to be the biological parent of a child (that is, the baby is made with your sperm), you have a few options. You might choose to have a baby with a romantic partner or someone else who you plan to raise the child with (a parenting partner). Surrogacy is also a possibility. The next section of this resource has more information about surrogacy.

If you plan to have a child with someone who is also living with HIV, make sure that you are both maintaining an undetectable viral load before you start trying to conceive. Maintaining an undetectable viral load is important for both your health and your partner’s health. Also, when your partner maintains an undetectable viral load, this prevents HIV from being passed to the baby. Read through the section of this resource for people living with HIV who want to get pregnant for more information, and think about how you can support your partner through their pregnancy.

If you want to have a baby with someone who does not have HIV, make sure that you are maintaining an undetectable viral load before trying to conceive in order to prevent passing HIV to them. A baby can only be born with HIV if the person who gets pregnant has HIV and has a detectable viral load. So, if you prevent passing HIV to your partner this will also prevent HIV from being passed to the baby.

Talk to an HIV doctor before trying to have a baby and ask them any questions that you have. If you do not have an HIV doctor, your local HIV organization may be able to help you get connected with a doctor. Visit www.HIV411.ca to find an HIV organization near you.

If you do not have an undetectable viral load, talk to your doctor. They can help you if you’re having difficulty taking your HIV treatment as prescribed. Your doctor might switch your medications if they are not working for you.

Talk to a healthcare provider about all medications that you are taking. They will tell you if they are safe to take when you’re trying to conceive.

Make sure to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and to get treated if necessary. Getting tested regularly is important for your health and the health of your partner, and some STIs can be harmful to a baby during pregnancy if they are not treated.