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Can I (a male) have children despite the fact that I have both HIV and Herpes?

Yes, you absolutely can become a parent with HIV and herpes.

HIV treatment can allow you to have condomless sex with your partner without transmitting HIV, and have an HIV negative baby. HIV treatment lowers HIV viral load. When you maintain an undetectable viral load, you can’t pass it on to your partner. Talk to your HIV care provider about your interest in having a child so you can plan around medication adherence, regular viral load testing and supports that may be available to you (or your partner) as a parent.

Herpes may require a little more managing. Herpes can be transmitted even without symptoms or sores present. This is why we encourage routine condom use for people who have herpes or avoiding sex until an outbreak has completely healed. If you have a cold sore on your mouth, avoid performing oral sex on your partner when a cold sore is present.

Talk with your health care provider about strategies to use as you plan to have a family. There may be options for suppressing herpes outbreaks and reducing the chances of transmission. I’d strongly encourage your partner to talk with their health care provider about STI testing, prevention or management before and during pregnancy.

Your health care providers and group programming at Nine Circles can also support you around parenting with HIV and herpes as your family grows.