Parents and HIV: The Unsung Success Story
It's time for the public conversation on HIV/AIDS and parenting to catch-up with the scientific facts.
One of the most remarkable, and yet widely unknown, medical advances of the past 20 years is the remarkable success of HIV-antiretroviral therapies. Today, someone living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and taking antiretroviral therapy has a life expectancy about equal to the national average.
But what’s perhaps more remarkable and paradigm shifting is when it comes to HIV and parenting.
Now, a man or woman on antiretroviral therapy can often have an undetectable blood-level of HIV. If tested for HIV, they would test negative. In short, not detectable means not transmissible. This means that in couples, a man or woman successfully on antiretroviral therapy can conceive through unprotected sex with a non-HIV positive partner, with effectively no risk of disease transmission.
If a woman is on HIV antiretroviral therapy before she gets pregnant, the chance of the baby becoming infected is zero.