Today is World AIDS Day. In honor of the day, P3, a UK LGBT+ parenting organization (Proud Professional Parents), are launching their "Proud Parenting" campaign which provides HIV positive individuals who wish to become parents with a package of educational materials about the many possibilities available to them - from traditional conception to adoption.
At 12:30 GMT they kicked things off with a social media Thunderclap, similar to a social media "flash mob", and hundreds of Twitter users shared the following message:
"HIV doesn't define a parent's power to love. Help us #endHIVstigma by sharing our #positiveparenting message."
Gays With Kids proudly took part in this campaign (which was also supported by a number of leading HIV associations including the British HIV Association and the Elton John AIDS Foundation) and we're happy to share P3's message and movement below.
"Launching on World AIDS Day (1st December 2017), the campaign aims to inform and educate about the possible and safe options available to prospective parents, and provide the legal and medical information - together in one place - to support HIV positive individuals regardless of gender or sexuality. Some of the materials are currently UK centric and in January, our US materials will likewise go live.
Research carried out by Gilead Sciences and published at the European AIDS Conference found that nearly half of all those questioned felt HIV would be a barrier to having a family naturally if they wanted children, with 73% saying they are afraid to transmit HIV either to their partner, or in the case of women, to their unborn child. The 'Positive Parenting Hub' aims to help combat the misconceptions and lack of knowledge about HIV and parenting.
As you may know, in addition to fostering and adoption, HIV positive men and women can explore a number of medical possibilities should they wish to become biological parents.
For example, you can carry a pregnancy if you're a HIV positive mother, as long as you are on the right treatment during pregnancy, have an undetectable viral load and don't breastfeed. By taking these precautions, there is only a very small risk - around 1 in 1,000 - of passing HIV on to the baby.
HIV positive men wishing to become dads can also consider conception with donated sperm, or undergo 'sperm-washing' to reduce the risk of transmission."