MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its "Dreams to Reality" initiative, Path2Parenthood (P2P), in collaboration with Choices (Memphis Center for Reproductive Health), is presenting an educational program highlighting medical advances that allow people living with HIV to have genetically-linked children without transmitting the HIV virus. Funded by generous grants from the Elton John AIDS Foundation (P2P) and the MAC AIDS Fund (Choices) the presentations will be held November 17th and 18th, 2015.
While the HIV epidemic is still widespread, advancements in drug therapy and treatment are helping people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. Previously, HIV-affected couples had adoption, foster care or in vitro fertilization with third-party eggs and/or sperm as options for achieving parenthood. While all are positive ways to build a family, many men and women longed to have genetically-linked children but did not try, for fear of passing along HIV to their partner or to the child.
"The ability to have genetically-linked children while reducing the fear and risk of transmitting HIV is a profound advancement in family building for men and women living with the virus," said Guy Ringler, MD, reproductive endocrinologist at California Fertility Partners and medical director of the outreach effort. "It is essential for patients with HIV to be informed about available fertility treatment options that can help them have children safely, with minimal risk of transmitting the HIV virus to their sexual partners, reproductive partners, or children."
"Preventing new infections is a high priority for the Memphis medical community," said Nikole Gettings, MSN, CNM, director of Clinical Services at Choices. "By educating people living with HIV about their reproductive options, we hope to motivate them to make better choices: to take safer sex precautions, to be tested for HIV, to adhere to treatment, and to take care of their overall health."
The HIV & Reproductive Health educational sessions include:
November 17, 2015 – Two presentations at the 2015 Mid-South Ryan White Conference, Fogelman Executive Conference Center & Hotel, 330 Innovation Drive, Memphis, TN 38152
For more information contact: Jennifer Pepper, Administrator, Ryan White Program, 901-222-8998
November 18, 2015 – Day-long seminar for people living with HIV to be held at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, 1900 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104.
For more information contact: Katy Leopard, Director of Community Partnerships, Choices, 901-355-4981
Gilead Sciences is also providing funds for the November 18th event for PLWH.
Path2Parenthood (P2P) is an inclusive organization committed to helping people create their unique path to parenthood by providing leading-edge outreach programs and timely educational information. The scope of our work encompasses reproductive and sexual health, infertility prevention and treatment, and family-building options including adoption and third-party solutions. We believe that everyone – regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or HIV status – should be able to have a family, and we offer support for all hopeful parents. www.path2parenthood.org
Choices' mission is to empower individuals in the Mid-South community to make informed choices for and about their reproductive health. The goal of our independent, non-profit clinic is to completely transform the way reproductive health care is perceived and provided in our community. Our commitment to a patient-centered practice is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the feminist model of health care, and we are proud to continue providing comprehensive reproductive health services in a safe environment and with respect for individual beliefs. www.memphischoices.org
At the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) we believe that AIDS can be beaten. We act on that belief by raising funds for effective programs and policies, and also by speaking out with honesty and compassion about the realities of people's lives. Sir Elton John created EJAF over twenty years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. EJAF has raised over $349 million from donations large and small to prevent HIV infections and give people living with HIV/AIDS the care and support they need to remain healthy. The U.S. foundation focuses its efforts on programs in the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean, while the U.K. foundation funds HIV-related work in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Join us in speaking out, taking action, and contributing to our efforts to achieve a world without AIDS. For more information, please visit www.ejaf.org.
The MAC AIDS Fund's (MAF) mission is to serve people of all ages, all races, all sexes affected by HIV and AIDS. To partner with the bold, the visionary and the brave who confront the epidemic in countries and communities where people are most neglected, off the radar and at the highest risk. Responsive, agile and alert, MAF funds innovative programs that deal directly with the most marginalized, stigmatized and under-heard victims. MAF celebrates humanity, life, creativity and individuality. Making a difference, on VIVA GLAM lipstick at a time. www.macaidsfund.org
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