nursing and midwifery - text

When the Man is HIV positive

Sperm washing

  • Sperm washing is an option when the man is HIV positive and his partner is HIV negative
    • A semen sample is spun in a machine to separate the sperm cells from the seminal fluid
    • Seminal fluid contains HIV whereas sperm cells do not
    • Washed sperm is tested and a catheter used to insert the sperm into the woman’s uterus
  • Advantage: No cases of HIV transmission from sperm washing 
  • Disadvantages: cost, access, lower rate of conception, clinical experience

(Available at:Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, tel: 02087468585)


Insemination using donor sperm

  • This effectively removes the risk of viral transmission because sperm donors are screened for HIV and other blood-borne viruses. However, it also removes the option of genetic parenting from the HIV positive man.

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