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What are IVF treatment options for HIV-positive patients?

2 fertility expert(s) answered this question

Answer from: Raúl Olivares, MD

Gynaecologist, Medical Director & Owner Barcelona IVF

In this case, it depends on whether it’s the man or the woman who is HIV-positive. However, in both cases, what we need is that the viral count should be negative, so the virus must be undetectable before starting any kind of treatment, and of course, we need the doctor in charge permission of those patients. We can start the treatment and help them get pregnant.

Second, it’s true that in some cases, the assisted reproduction techniques in this particular case are used because what we want is to reduce the risk of transmission of this infection especially, in regard to the fact that the man may transmit the disease to the woman. Then, depending on each case, we may need different tests, for example, let’s say that the woman is HIV- positive, as long as the count of the virus is close to zero, there are no restrictions. You can have any treatment regardless of the HIV  problem. You can have IUI, IVF, or egg donation because, in women, the only real risk is the vertical transmission of the virus and the infection to the fetus. If you are negative, we can start with the simple IUI to avoid having unprotected sex between the couple, and that’s it.

Regarding the man, it’s slightly more complicated because we know that the sperm may transmit the infection, so we need to wash the sperm before doing any treatment, and this is something that is done despite having a low viral count in the blood.  The main problem is that this sperm washing damages the sperm, and it makes it worse. So that the spermogram must be good if you want to do an IUI. This is why nowadays, most of the time, we perform IVF in these patients, we first perform this washing, we reduce the low count of viruses that could be in the semen sample, and then we proceed with the ICSI to reduce the risk of transmitting the infection to the woman. The only strict criteria that we need to fulfil before starting is having a negative viral count in the blood.

Answer from: Guillermo Quea Campos

Gynaecologist, Specialist in Reproductive Medicine Pronatal Fertility Clinics

This treatment will depend on which of the members of the couple is the carrier of the virus or both of them. In the case of men – a semen wash should be performed to get rid of the virus from the seminar plasma. In addition to assessing the convenience of starting therapy and anti-retroviral therapy When she is the carrier of the virus, start under retroviral treatment and choose the most suitable reproduction technique. When both members are carriers of the virus  retroviral treatment for both choosing the appropriate reproduction technique according to the type of flexibility and performance of semen wash. It’s very important to note that any treatment to be performed must have the authorization and coordination with the treating physician

About this question:

Are there any options to treat HIV-positive patients via IVF to make sure the baby will not inherit the virus?

Is fertility treatment possible for HIV-positive patients? How does it work? What should I first do if I would like to start such a treatment?

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