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Health

People with HIV can donate sperm and eggs

  • Author, Michelle Roberts
  • Role, Digital Health Editor

Same-sex couples with non-transmissible HIV will now be able to donate eggs or sperm and become parents.

UK laws are evolving to keep up with scientific data showing the product is safe, experts say.

Highly effective medications eliminate the risk of transmitting the virus.

The move is part of wider work to improve access to IVF and ensure equal rights.

A fairer system

The change in law will mean that thousands of same-sex couples where one or both partners are HIV positive but with an undetectable viral load – meaning it cannot be transmitted – will be able to have children.

Until now, the only benefit in HIV cases was for a man to donate sperm to a female partner.

Campaigners say it is a “huge victory” for HIV and LGBT+ rights.

Deborah Gold, from the National Aids Trust, said: “We now look forward to Parliament approving this secondary legislation and celebrating the huge difference it will make to the lives and choices of LGBT+ people living with HIV who wish to establish a family. »

People living with HIV can now donate sperm or eggs to family, friends and known recipients provided that:

  • They have a “sustained and undetectable viral load”
  • They have been receiving antiretroviral treatment for at least six months before donation; And
  • The known recipient is aware of their HIV diagnosis and consents.

Ministers are also removing additional testing costs for female same-sex couples undergoing IVF treatment in shared motherhood – where one partner provides the egg and the other carries the embryo.

Currently these couples, unlike heterosexual couples, must undergo syphilis screening and genetic testing for diseases like cystic fibrosis, which can cost more than £1,000.

Health Minister Maria Caulfield said the changes would create a fairer system and allow more people to “realize their dream of becoming parents”.

Equalities Minister Stuart Andrew MP said: “HIV treatment has improved dramatically, saving countless lives, but the stigma around it persists.

“These changes will help reduce this stigma, making it clear that people living with HIV can live full and happy lives.”

Clinics should be able to start doing this in the coming months, says the government.

The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, which regulates clinics, says it will soon provide guidance to facilitate this change.

Thanks to antiretroviral drugs, most people living with HIV in the UK have an undetectable viral load in their blood and therefore cannot transmit HIV sexually.

News Source : www.bbc.com
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