Welcome to a space for allies, friends, and families to learn how to support the family planning goals of people living with HIV.


People living with HIV can become parents

There are many choices and options for people living with HIV related to reproductive planning. HIV is only one factor for people living with HIV about starting a family. With the right support, knowledge, and care, people living with HIV can become parents if they choose to!

People living with HIV have been parents for as long as HIV has existed. But there has been a big shift in how reproductive planning and options have been considered since we learned that people living with HIV on effective treatment with an undetectable viral load can’t pass it on (undetectable=untransmittable). This science is great news for people living with HIV and their families that have decided to become parents.

People living with HIV can become parents still face barriers, challenges, and stigma that others do not related to their reproductive rights. As someone who cares about a person living with HIV, understanding the reproductive options, choices, and rights of people living with HIV is an essential source of support.

This digital toolkit has been created by people living with HIV as a space where you can learn more about these options, rights, and the experiences of people living with HIV in exercising these rights. The information is informed by The Canadian HIV Planning Guidelines. These guidelines were developed for healthcare providers, but they are a great tool that can teach you more about reproductive planning in the context of HIV.

It’s important to recognize that there are many pathways to parenthood for people living with HIV. Your support and understanding is meaningful and important.

A long road

“I am still looking for the right support in all of this. I would love to talk to women who have gone through this journey whose lives have followed a similar path as mine.”

Read the full story

Understanding the context

The Support System is Critical

People living with HIV have advocated for the right to reproductive choice, be it intending to become pregnant, to adopt, to seek fertility treatment or to remain childless. While accessing clinical care is important it is equally as important that the person living with HIV feels supported by friends and family and has access to a circle of support or support system.

In order to be the source of support that your friend or family member living with HIV deserves, you need to be better informed about what reproductive planning in the context of HIV really means. To help you in the process, people living with HIV have shared their stories. Each story teaches about the different ways that friends and family members offer support. This includes common aspects of reproductive planning, like deciding when it is the ‘right’ time, support through the adoption process, help in facilitating access to fertility treatment, and supporting decisions about remaining childless. Your support is also essential when your friend or family member experiences rejection and/or stigma. 

The support system is critical when a person living with HIV is making reproductive decisions. Keep learning more about how you can support them.

Reproductive Rights

You Can be an Ally to Us in Everyday Ways

The reproductive rights of people living with HIV haven’t always been protected. The reproductive rights of people living with HIV are increasingly being recognized and respected. You Can be an Ally to Us in Everyday Ways. Here’s how to make sure you are actively support us in exercising our reproductive rights, which might or might not include having children.

  • 1

    Educate yourself about HIV on your own. This means learning on your own so that we don’t have to be the teacher. Here are some great websites to start with, including some Frequently Asked Questions we have developed.

  • 2

    Learn how to talk about HIV in ways that are based on science AND the preferences of people living with HIV. Being an ally means making sure what you say isn’t unintentionally stigmatizing

  • 3

    Spread the word that people living with HIV can have children. These families can be created in all of the same ways as any parent would consider.

  • 4

    Spread the word that when a person starts anti-HIV treatment before pregnancy and takes those medications throughout pregnancy to control the virus, the risk is almost zero of a baby being born with HIV

  • 5

    Take opportunities to defend the reproductive rights of all people, including those living with HIV

  • 6

    Stand up against stigma with and even without us present

  • 7

    Ask us directly what our hopes around parenting are, how you can support us, and what allyship we need. This supports our right to make informed choices that are best for us

  • 8

    Accept that you might say the wrong thing or ask the wrong question. This will be uncomfortable. Welcome that discomfort as an opportunity to learn

  • 9

    Be there if we ask you to be

  • 10

    Volunteer, donate, and contribute to initiatives that protect our reproductive rights if you can

Pathways to Parenthood

People living with HIV have many options. Learn more about them to support their choices.

HIV is a manageable disease and as a provider you are familiar with the science that has led to this. Explore how this same science has changed the options for parenting among people living with HIV.