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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 and 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
  • Internal or female condom

Birth control options that DO NOT protect against HIV:

  • Oral contraceptive ("the pill")
  • Injectable contraceptive (shot)
  • Contraceptive implant
  • IUD (intrauterine device)
  • Emergency contraception ("morning-after pill")
  • 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)

Considerations for women with HIV

If you are in a monogamous relationship and your partner also has HIV, 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 a woman with HIV with a partner who also has HIV include:

  • Using a diaphragm
  • Tubal ligation (getting your tubes tied)
  • IUD (intrauterine device)

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

  • Birth control pills
  • Contraceptive injection (eg, Depo-Provera)
  • Contraceptive implant (eg, Norplant)