Fertility Options for HIV+ Patients
Advances in medicine have greatly improved the quality of life and outlook for men with HIV, enabling them to live long, healthy and productive lives including the ability to have children of their own. For over a decade we have been working with the Special Program of Assisted Reproduction (SPAR) of the Bedford Foundation to help our patients with HIV to have children. SPAR is an international program designed to protect wives, surrogates and babies from becoming infected during fertility procedures that use sperm from men with HIV.
The Bedford SPAR Program
The program is based on research findings that not all semen specimens from men infected with HIV will contain the virus. Semen specimens that test negative for the virus can be used in reproductive procedures, such as IVF, to minimize the risk of viral transmission to the recipient of the embryos and to the baby.
A recent review of the world’s medical literature on assisted reproduction for men with HIV summarized results from over 8000 insemination cycles and over 1200 IVF cycles using a special sperm wash to prepare semen specimens from men with HIV, with no reports of viral transmission to recipients of the washed sperm or the babies.
In our program we work with semen specimens that have been tested by the SPAR program and found to have undetectable viral loads. These tested specimens are then washed to further minimize any risk of viral transmission before being used in reproductive procedures. We have had no cases of viral transmission to mothers or babies.
For additional information on this program, please consult with one of our physicians.