From Dreams to Reality: Biological Family Building For Men with HIV
Growing Generations believes HIV-positive men should have the opportunity to become fathers just as much as anyone else. Thanks to a service we developed in 2006, more than 100 babies have been born to parents with HIV, and that number is steadily growing each year.
The HART Program
Our HIV Assisted Reproductive Technologies program (HART) uses cutting-edge techniques, combined with laboratory testing and preventative medications, so that men with HIV have the chance to become biological parents through surrogacy and with intention.
HIV is now a long-term manageable disease thanks to many advances in the medical field. To ensure the safety of the surrogate mother and child, all of our prospective HIV-positive intended parents undergo a detailed health screening process before being admitted to our program. This is designed to ensure that their HIV viral load is undetectable.
The Surrogacy Process
Once you have been admitted to our program, you’ll go through many exciting steps including meeting the surrogate you’re matched with. We will connect you with the legal counsel you need and make sure your egg donor and surrogate are medically prepared for their respective procedures. Once your surrogate receives full clearance and the legal portion of the process is complete, pregnancy will be attempted.
Pregnancy results usually come back within 10 to 12 days. Within 10 to 12 weeks of pregnancy, your surrogate will be released to her personal obstetrician. Once the pregnancy has entered the second trimester, we will make plans with the hospital for your baby’s arrival. The entire surrogacy process usually lasts around 15 to 20 months, and our expert team will be here to guide you through every step.
Is it safe to use sperm from an HIV-positive person to create embryos?
Yes. There have been more than 4,000 reported cases of assisted reproduction using sperm from HIV-positive men, and not one baby or surrogate have contracted the virus. Every assisted reproduction and HIV specialist we have spoken with has noted that even without the safeguards our Growing Generations medical professionals have put in place, it would be virtually impossible for HIV to be transmitted to the surrogate or baby.
Can the intended parents live a life with the same longevity as other HIV-negative parents?
Yes. HIV is now a long-term manageable disease with current medications able to completely control the virus for a full lifetime. National studies now calculate the life expectancy of those with and without HIV to be nearly identical, so bringing a child into a loving home with an individual or couple with or without HIV is essentially the same.
Renowned HIV specialist Dr. Dan Bowers has written a letter to intended parents with HIV and the surrogates who support them.
Read it here