Nevertheless, reproductive health asks a number of complex questions of people living with HIV and their doctors. Of course, HIV can be transferred through unprotected sex, and potential parents may want to consider the impact of HIV both on their own lifespan and their child; not only that, but mainstream fertility services have been historically difficult to access for HIV-positive people.
Planning pregnancies, limiting families, or avoiding pregnancy entirely all require advice on the available and appropriate methods, and our experienced team of counsellors and nurses can provide that information. Not only that, but some of our clinicians are heavily involved in the latest drug-based methods – including hormonal contraception and PrEP-C – and this puts our service in an excellent position to lead you through your reproduction health questions from start to finish, in-house.
Methods differ from couple to couple: for instance, the HIV-status of both partners will dictate clinical management techniques, whilst in serodifferent couples (ones in which only one partner is HIV-positive), the gender of the positive partner will also open or close certain doors. An HIV-positive woman, for instance, may benefit from self-insemination, which eliminates the risk of the male partner acquiring HIV; likewise, timed sexual intercourse may be a good option for a male HIV-positive partner on successful ARV therapy.
We’re here to guide you through the range of options, and prevent so-called ‘vertical transmission’ to your child: the interventions available to us once we are aware of the mother’s status has helped even in general medicine, where the excellent uptake of HIV testing amongst pregnant women has really helped us reduce mother-to-child transmission. To read more about pregnancy and women’s reproductive health, click here.
Whatever your decision, we’re here first to advise, then provide the appropriate care – and, of course, to be there supporting and monitoring you and your family afterwards, too.