As children born with HIV age into adulthood, they need guidance facing the additional challenges the virus poses if they consider becoming a parent. Publishing their findings in the journal AIDS Care, researchers at Royal Holloway University and St. Mary’s Hospital, London, interviewed three women and two men between the ages of 18 and 23 who were currently or previously in a relationship, asking them about their apirations and worries regarding parenthood.

All of the participants had hopes for parenthood, which were tempered by concerns surrounding issues of telling their children about their HIV status, and in some cases worries about the possibility of transmitting the virus to their children. A major concern among them was how their desire for children might influence their relationships, in particular because a planned pregnancy would require disclosing their HIV status to their partners.

“It is essential that we come up with strategies to help young people communicate clearly with their partners about parenting and HIV,” Michael Evangeli, PhD, a senior lecturer in clinical psychology at Royal Holloway and the study’s lead author, said in a release. “Now that children born with HIV are surviving to adulthood, parenting is an urgent issue that needs to be discussed for the well-being of young people with HIV, their partners and children.”

To read a release on the study, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.