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Birth control and HIV

for Veterans and the Public

Birth control and HIV

The only forms of birth control that will protect against HIV are abstinence, or using condoms while having sex. Other methods of birth control offer protection against unplanned pregnancy, but do not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.

Birth control options that DO protect against HIV:

  • abstinence (not having sex)
  • male condom
  • female condom

Birth control options that DO NOT protect against HIV:

  • oral contraceptive ("the pill")
  • Depo-Provera (shot)
  • emergency contraception ("morning-after pill")
  • Norplant
  • IUD (intrauterine device)
  • diaphragm, cap, and shield
  • vasectomy (getting your tubes tied if you are a man)
  • tubal ligation (getting your tubes tied if you are a woman)
  • withdrawal

Considerations for HIV-positive women

If you are in a monogamous relationship and your partner also is HIV positive, you may decide to use a birth control method other than condoms. (These methods won't protect against other STDs or re-infection.)

Safe methods of birth control for HIV-positive women with an HIV-positive partner include:

  • using a diaphragm
  • tubal ligation (getting your tubes tied)

Use only after checking with your provider (these may interact with your anti-HIV medications):

  • birth control pills
  • Depo-Provera
  • Norplant

Not recommended (may cause irritation and infection, something you want to avoid):

  • IUD (intrauterine device)