Japan: HIV Couples Barred From IVF Therapy
July 24, 2008
Japan's Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has postponed plans to use in vitro fertilization for two couples who are both infected with HIV. The IVF was approved by Tokyo's Ogikubo Hospital in January of last year, but the ministry said more deliberation and ethical examination is needed.
The husbands of both of the couples were infected through tainted blood products, and their viruses are highly virulent or drug-resistant. While it is possible for the couples to conceive via normal sexual intercourse, the wives, with less quantities of the virus and more stable immune systems, could be reinfected by their husbands' more virulent strains.
Another issue is that both parents could potentially die before their children reach adulthood. In 2004, a special committee of medical experts -- primarily from the European Union -- recommended that such reproductive medicine be limited to cases in which only one spouse is HIV-positive.
Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo)
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.