The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

HIV in sperm cell

May 16, 2007

I've been doing a lot of research on sperm washing as my husband and I are a serodiscordant couple trying to start a family. Is it true that the HIV virus can live in the sperm cell and if so, is there a test to verify? Even though my husband's viral load is undetectable, I'm still not comfortable w/ taking the risk even a small as it may be that I or the baby may be infected.

Thanks for your help.

Response from Dr. Frascino


HIV cannot live inside a sperm cell. It is contained in cells in ejaculate, but not actually in the sperm itself. That is why sperm washing techniques have been so effective in dramatically lowering the risk of HIV transmission for magnetic couples wishing to conceive a child. I would suggest you discuss your concerns with an HIV-knowledgeable obstetrician at a medical facility that performs sperm washing and in vitro fertilization for HIV serodiscordant couples. If after that discussion you remain uncomfortable with the potential risk, you should not proceed. You may need to consider other options, such as adoption or in vitro fertilization with sperm from a donor other than your husband. However, after thoroughly reviewing the available data on sperm washing and in vitro fertilization, I would not be at surprised if you, like so many other magnetic couples, find the risks acceptable and decide to proceed with your plans for conception.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

a l'aide docteur!!!!
you just answered my question

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint