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Couples, HIV & Babies

Minneapolis Star Tribune Online

Fall 1999

Doctors are increasingly being faced by the dilemma of whether or not to help a couple, in which the male partner has HIV to have a baby. If a doctor encourages the couple, there is a chance that the mother or newborn may contract HIV.

However, a procedure called sperm washing may provide a solution. Sperm washing separates sperm from the surrounding fluid, in which most of the virus is believed to reside, and the sperm is then used to fertilize the egg. Lab studies at Harvard University have shown that sperm washing can reduce the viral load by 10,000 fold. Still, questions remain about the procedure, and further research must be done. (Although common in European countries, the practice of sperm washing is rare and costly in the United States.)





  
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This article was provided by Women Alive. It is a part of the publication Women Alive Newsletter.
 

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