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Why don’t all clinics perform IVF for HIV positive patients?

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5 fertility expert(s) answered this question

Answer from: Guillermo Quea Campos

Gynaecologist, Specialist in Reproductive Medicine Pronatal Fertility Clinics
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Not all the clinic can prefer treatments on hiv-positive patients or any other infectious disease due to it’s necessary to have equipment within the laboratory to handle infection samples. In addition to having the corresponding permits granted by the health authority of each country.

Answer from: Daniel Alexander, MUDr

Gynaecologist, Physician Gennet
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Not all the clinics are equipped with lab equipment and in the gynecology part where HIV-positive patients could be treated. That’s the reason. And also, it’s about having it safe for the personnel, the doctors, nurses, and the embryologists; that’s one reason. Also, the second is that we never know what the situation is exactly with the HIV positivity of the person, and when they had the AIDS disease.

Answer from: Maria Arquè, MD, PhD

Gynaecologist, Reproductive Specialist
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Some clinics may not have all the equipment required in the lab to undergo treatment for patients with HIV. The most important thing is that whenever we are treating patients who are HIV positive, those patients are treated well by specialists in the infection and that their viral load is negative and their genital health is good.

Whenever we have to use sperm or eggs from someone who has HIV, we can perform some procedures in the lab to clean the samples to diminish as much as possible the risk of any transmission, or infection to the baby. Whenever we are speaking, especially about a male who is HIV positive when the female is not HIV positive, the technique is very accurate, and so far, several studies are showing that there has been no transmission of HIV using IVF when all things were done correctly and properly, in the lab. So this is a pretty safe technique. Then, after that, this pregnancy has to be followed up by a specialist who is completely aware of the situation as well. Follow up the protocols that are necessary for someone who might be at high risk of HIV if the partner is HIV positive.

Answer from: Àlex García-Faura, MD

Gynaecologist, Scientific Director Institut Marquès
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HIV has become a chronic infectious disease in developed countries where the patient can follow standard medical care and treatment. The main problem is not with HIV couples or with IVF treatment but with serodiscordant couples where the man is HIV positive, and his sperm sample could be transmitting HIV to both the mother and the baby.

In these cases, we would always recommend trying to get HIV undetectable in a blood test before treatment, and a sperm wash can be performed to avoid the risk of transmission. Only a few clinics can perform this sperm wash technique and safely perform IVF in serodiscordant couples.

Answer from: Natalia Szlarb, MD, PhD

Gynaecologist, Medical Director IVF-Spain
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I think it is a mistake and discrimination of HIV positive patients by the doctors who do not want to treat them. We have to be aware that through modern medication, patients who are well treated and are HIV positive, have the same life expectancy as other members of the population.

I am proud to say that at IVF Spain, we treat everybody. We do not discriminate against anybody. The goal is to transfer an embryo to an HIV-positive person who has a very low viral load, which is undetectable. This allows us to achieve high pregnancy rates, and children born from HIV-positive parents are born HIV negative.

About this question:

Is IVF for HIV patient possible in every clinic?

Are there any specific needs and demands to treat HIV patients?  If so, are all the clinics adapted to perform IVF for HIV positive? What are the reasons that some clinics can’t offer treatment for this group of patients?

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