Your Fertility Appointment Today to Start Your Family Tomorrow


You are here

HIV and Sperm Washing: How Can We Conceive Safely?

November 8, 2013

What’s a couple to do when the male partner is HIV positive and wants to start a family without risking transmission of the virus to his HIV negative female partner?

Fortunately, sperm washing is available to reduce the risk of transmission to the partner and unborn child. Sperm washing is also an option when both partners test HIV positive, and want to reduce the risk of reinfection.

Sperm washing involves a machine that “spins” the semen sample so that sperm and semen separate from one another. This is beneficial to HIV positive patients, as the virus is carried primarily in the seminal fluid. The washed sperm is then used in an intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycle or in vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) depending on the couples’ reproductive history and current fertility test results. The process may be done with or without the use of fertility drugs.

Not every fertility clinic has the ability to quarantine the sperm specimen in their lab, therefore they may not offer sperm washing to HIV positive patients. Some clinics partner with outside lab facilities capable of quarantining the specimen.

Contact our Patient Care Advocates by calling 855-955-BABY (2229) or emailing to find a clinic near you that either washes the sperm in their lab, or enlists the help of an outside lab service to do so.

The first step in starting your family safely is consulting a fertility expert in your area.

Check out our HIV and TTC (Trying to Conceive) forum on!

Add new comment