Parents with HIV

Thanks to modern medicines (retrovirals), zero-positive HIV patients can have a quality of life equal to that of a healthy person… A new opportunity for families.

When in a couple it is the man who presents the virus, artificial insemination presents the best technique to reduce the possibility of contagion for the woman.

The technique consists of separating the motile spermatozoa from the rest of the components of the semen, in order to avoid the spread of the HIV virus present in the seminal fluid. In recent years, this technique has been successfully applied, using washed semen for HIV. Although there is a theoretical risk of infection, in the experience accumulated to date, there has been no case of seroconversion of the treated woman or infection of the fetus. Because the virus is found in the seminal fluid and not in the sperm.

But can an HIV positive woman have children?

It is important to bear in mind that when a pregnant woman with HIV does not receive antiretroviral treatment, the risk of transmitting the infection to her child may increase. What is intended to do with antiretrovirals is to keep patients as undetectable (controlled disease) in order to reduce the risk of contagion to less than 1%.

If there is no other cause of sterility, the recommended procedure is artificial insemination, either with fresh semen or with washed semen if the man also has antibodies to HIV.

Analysis for control before artificial insemination men.

  • Seminogram. It is especially oriented to know the fertilizing potential of the male after the application of the semen washing process. Part of this sample must be analyzed by PCR to ensure that the washing has been effective and that it is suitable for use without risk of contagion.
  • Psychiatric report. It is only necessary if the man is undergoing substitution treatment with opioids or psychoactive drugs.
  • Blood analysis. Includes complete blood count, liver and kidney biochemistry, serology, and HIV study.

Analysis for control before artificial insemination women

  • Cytology.
  • PCR test. It must be carried out in the same cycle of insemination and prior to it. In case of pregnancy, a determination of HIV antibodies must be carried out quarterly until delivery, in order to monitor seronegativity.
  • Hormone analysis. FSH, LH and 17 b-Estradiol.
  • Blood analysis. Complete blood count, liver and kidney biochemistry, serology, blood group, and Rh.

Advice for couples with an HIV-positive partner who want to have children.

A couple in which one or both members have HIV infection must be aware that, if they want to have a child, they must request specialized care that can preserve their health and that of the newborn. This attention is specified in four aspects:

  • Stabilization of the underlying disease and control by the specialist.

  • Reproductive advice, in order to schedule pregnancy in the best possible conditions, or advise against it if that is the case.

  • Artificial insemination with washed semen for HIV.

  • Assisted Reproduction Techniques, in case there is any sterility factor in the couple.

“Learn more about the subject and request your appointment at our clinic to advise you. We are Excellence in Assisted Reproduction.”

Biol. Luis Machorro
Biol. Luis Machorro
IVF and Andrology Laboratory

Vitrification of eggs and embryos at the Mexican Institute of Infertility.

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