When conceiving a child, there is a risk of HIV infection when one parent is HIV positive. However, there are many treatments than can reduce this risk. If you or your partner have HIV, discuss treatment options with your HIV specialist before conceiving.

Father-to-child transmission of HIV

Sperm washing is a treatment option when the father is HIV positive and the mother HIV negative.

Sperm washing concentrates and then separates sperm from the infectious seminal fluid. The sperm can then be safely injected into an egg and implanted in the women’s uterus. This prevents the woman from HIV infection and passing it to the child.

Mother-to-child transmission of HIV

HIV positive women can take precautions that reduce the risk of passing the HIV infection to their child. These include:

  • Antiretroviral therapy for the mother
  • Antiretroviral therapy for the child
  • Not breastfeeding (breast milk contains HIV)
  • Caesarean section rather than vaginal delivery

Further information

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) page on parenting and conception while HIV Positive.

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