Being HIV Positive Doesn’t Mean You Cannot Conceive A Healthy Baby

Very significant advances in medicine and science, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) seropositive people can live a long and happy life. Because of this, many couples have the opportunity to consider starting their own families by using either their own gametes or donor eggs.

What If A Male Partner Is HIV Seropositive?
If a male partner is HIV positive, our Fertility Specialists can perform a sperm washing on his sample. This is a process in which individual spermatozoa is separated from the seminal fluid. It is used to prevent HIV transmission but allow conception in serodiscordant couples, where the male is HIV positive, but the female is HIV negative (in this instance the egg donor).

A couple (where the man has HIV antibodies) are still able to carry out artificial insemination if he wishes to have a child. The artificial insemination route also decreases the woman’s chances of contracting the infection.

The washed sperm technique has been carried out successfully for HIV cases so far, and although there is a theoretical risk of infection, there have been no cases of seroconversion in women or foetuses.

In order to maximize the efficiency of the procedure and to minimise the number of insemination attempts, the woman’s cycle is controlled pharmacologically.

If A Woman Is HIV Seropositive Can She Have Children?

It is important to mention first and foremost that when a pregnant woman is a HIV carrier, and does not receive the appropriate treatment, the risk of the infection being transmitted to the child ranges between 15% – 20%.

If a female recipient is HIV positive, a CD4 count would be required (CD4 Count is a test where our Fertility Specialists will check how well your immune system is functioning). You will also need to have a Viral Load (a VL shows how much HIV is in your body by measuring how many particles of HIV are in a blood sample).

CD4 cells are white blood cells that fight infection. These are the cells that the HIV virus kills. The higher the count the better! With the Viral Load, your count would ideally need to be low to undetectable.

IF the CD4 count is at the desired level, the female recipient will be referred to their physician for assessment and commencement of ARVs (antiretrovirals). Our main priority is that the female recipient is fit and healthy before becoming pregnant.

How To Have A Minimal Risk Pregnancy
The infection of a male partner must be stable with no other diagnosed illnesses – the male must be in good health.
Both partners will need to undergo a full screening before the insemination to determine their general wellbeing and identify any possible unknown infertility issues.

Our Advice For Couples Who Want To Have Children
If you, your partner (or both) are infected with HIV, if you want to start a family you will need assistance from qualified medical staff in order to ensure minimal risk to your health and that of your baby. To find out more about the screening process, to discuss any HIV concerns you may have, infertility issues and anything more, please do get in touch.

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