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World AIDS Day and Fertility

December 1 is World AIDS Day. Founded in 1988, it was the first ever global health day. Around the world, people are showing support for people living with HIV, commemorating friends and loved ones who have died from the disease and uniting in the fight against HIV. A diagnosis is not the death sentence it once was, and more and more HIV-positive women and men are living long lives and having families. Following are facts about the disease.

World AIDS Day Facts 2013

  • 1 in 4 new HIV infections occur in youth ages 13 to 24.
  • 12,000 youth were infected with HIV in 2010. That’s 1,000 per month.
  • 60% of youth do not know they are infected, are not being treated and so not know they could be passing the virus to others.
  • 50,000 people are infected with HIV every year in the United States.
  • About 86% of young females got HIV through heterosexual sex.
  • About 87% of young males got HIV through homosexual sex and 6% through heterosexual sex.
  • Young African American males are the highest population of HIV infection.
  • More HIV-positive people are planning to have children than ever before.
  • Combination anti-retroviral therapy have been safely used in pregnancy for over 20 years.
  • Without treatment, 25% of HIV-positive women will pass the virus to their baby. While treated women can almost completely prevent transmission.
  • Anti-retroviral therapy should be discussed with your fertility doctor and infectious disease specialist as some drugs have been shown to cause neural tube defects in animals. Other medications are available that may be better suited for pregnancy.
  • HIV-positive people have increasing fertility options including adoption, self-insemination with partner sperm, embryo donation from non-infected couple, donor sperm insemination, timed unprotected intercourse, sperm washing combined with intrauterine insemination and assisted reproduction technology, which includes in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

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