Israel's Haaretz.com Examines Country's Lack of Coverage for Fertility Treatment for HIV-Positive Individuals
May 4, 2005
Israel's Haaretz.com on Tuesday examined the country's lack of health care coverage for fertility treatment for HIV-positive individuals. The need to address fertility problems among HIV-positive people who wish to have children has "grown along with their life expectancy," with 20 million young, HIV-positive potential parents living worldwide, according to Haaretz.com. Israel's Ministry of Health has no official policy governing HIV/AIDS patients and fertility treatments, and individual clinics do not want to "take the chance that some mistake will be made or even that it will become known that AIDS patients are being treated, which will drive away healthy patients," an unnamed health care professional said. Health ministry spokesperson Eti Litman said the ministry has "not determined any policy or directives that prevent HIV-positive women from undergoing fertility treatments," adding, "It is the right of these women to undergo treatments just like any other women, as indicated by law." However, the government does not provide funding for "spermwashing" -- a technique used on sperm from HIV-positive men to eliminate traces of the virus -- and many patients cannot afford to travel abroad for other fertility treatments, Haaretz.com reports. According to Professor Shlomo Ma'ayan, director of the AIDS center at Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem, the situation of HIV-positive women seeking fertility treatments is "desperate," Haaretz.com reports. About 30 HIV-positive women have given birth in recent years at Hadassah, which is considering establishing a center for sperm-washing to meet the increasing demand for the procedure, according to Ma'ayan (Sinai, Haaretz.com, 5/3).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.