My name is Henry and I was born in New York City. I have been positive for 23 years now. My fiancée, Donna, is negative. We reside in Wichita, Kansas. We have been living together almost 2 years but we originally met 8 years ago. About a year and half ago we started thinking about having a baby. Back in July of last year, 2015, we saw my HIV specialist to address concerns about the safety not only for the baby but also my fiancée. She answered all our questions and concerns we had at the time and put Donna on Truvada [PrEP] and gave us the green light to have a baby.

Now comes the snag, we are having difficulty due to the fact that Donna needs fertility medications to help us have a baby. Our insurance does not cover it; the most we could afford was a visit to a fertility doctor, to buy treatment for about 9 months, plus two follow up visits. So far we’ve had no success. The other alternatives are getting a sperm count to make sure I don’t have issues since everything else is OK now, or having my sperms inserted into her eggs. I guess it’s called in-vitro or something like that.

We want to assure others that it is safe for serodifferent couples to have children. Our HIV specialist assured us that the chances to pass the virus to my fiancé or the baby are almost nil… for sure…

So we will keep trying, we have a short time to try to have a baby, since I am 51 and Donna is 43. She is diabetic and has back problems, which makes it a little more complicated. When it rains it pours…

I love her very much, and we decided, if by next year in the summer, we have not been able to conceive we will want to adopt a baby. So the moral of our story is we are just like any other negative couple who are dealing with fertility issues and trying to have a baby.

HIV, with proper care and being undetectable, does not hamper our ability to be a normal couple and become a family.

A little more about me and what I do: I currently run a small group on Facebook called Advocacy for HIV/AIDS – HEMA Universal Life Community Services, Inc. We have roughly 590 members from all over the world and we try to stay focused on education, prevention and support for all our members. I have also been part of the board of directors of the League Against Aids, Inc based out of Miami, Florida, for over 10 years. I am an ordained Reverend for the Universalist Church, which is a totally open and supportive church for all beliefs regardless of gender, color or sexual orientation.

Since I am permanently on disability, I supplement my income as a tax preparer, computer maintenance tech and search for lost metal valuables. All this I do as my health permits me, and I have two loving children that are from Donna’s first marriage. But I am lucky because they love me and I love them. I also hold a Bachelors in Business management, and studied pre-med! Ok, I am a jack of all trades. So I never have stopped being a provider. My mom raised me right!

Our doctor’s name is Donna Sweet in Wichita, Kansas! She is a world renowned HIV Specialist and has been in the field since the 80’s. Dr. Sweet holds her practice at Kansas University Wichita, Kansas internal medicine clinic.

 

The Reverend Henry Calderon Jr. lives in Kansas with his fiancée, Donna, and their family.

 

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Information and Resources from HIVE

As Treatment as Prevention (TasP) and PrEP become more well-known across the U.S., we are wondering how men who have sex with women are finding out about the possibilities for safer conception, what they think about it, and what barriers remain.

We love sharing stories about men living with HIV who are having, have had, or want to have children. Applause for clinics who are routinely offering PrEP to women, and clinics who are telling people living with HIV that TasP works.

We are on a journey, learning and growing together. Looking for a platform for your voice? Interested in helping others by sharing your story? We can work with you if you prefer to be anonymous. No professional writing skills necessary. Contact caroline@HIVEonline.org

Check out the links below for resources around TasP and family building options.

Prevention Access Campaign

Thinking About Having a Baby?

We’ve Been Seeing if We Are Ready, Are There Any Risks Involved?

Pietro Vernazza: Safer Conception Options for Serodifferent Couples

Disclosure: PRO Men

Adherence: PRO Men

HIVE Fertility Page