Assisted reproduction for HIV-positive people

Dr Giles and Harold Bourne
Dr Michelle Giles, Infectious Diseases Physician, with Harold Bourne, Lab Manager
19 November 2013 | Gynaecology

The Women’s has been offering assisted reproductive techniques to HIV-positive men with HIV-negative female partners since 2003 and to HIV-positive women since 2006.

A research paper by Dr Michelle Giles, an infectious diseases physician at the Women’s, published in the Medical Journal of Australia in 2011, reviewed the outcomes of 37 HIV-positive people with HIV-negative partners (known as ‘serodiscordant’ couples) who took part in an assisted reproduction program at the hospital between 2003 and 2010.

In that time, 19 babies were born and no cases of HIV transmission to the baby or the HIV-negative partner occurred.

Dr Giles said the study confirms the safety of assisted reproduction for serodiscordant couples within a program that includes strict protocols for HIV treatment and testing of all semen for detectable HIV before use.

The choice of treatment offered includes intrauterine insemination or IVF depending on the woman’s age, reproductive history, fertility and her partner’s sperm quality.

“I’m pleased to say our study demonstrates that people with HIV can safely conceive a child using assisted reproduction,” says Dr Giles.

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