HIV serodiscordant couples represent at Essay

Submitted By April-Chenault Renke
Words: 778
Pages: 4

Conception between an HIV positive and HIV negative partner

HIV serodiscordant couples represent at least half of all HIV- affected couples worldwide. The definition of serodiscordant is a relationship with one HIV positive partner and one HIV negative partner. Many of these couples have the desire to have children. Technology and research has enabled conception relating to a HIV positive partner to be much safer for the mother and baby. The methods have allowed for pregnancy while minimizing the risk of sexual transmission of HIV. In the United States, it is estimated that there are more than 140,000 HIV serodiscordant heterosexual couples. The risk to these couples increase during the process of attempting conception due to risky practices. Evidence suggests that 20-50% of HIV-infected individuals desire children and this desire for childbearing may lead to unprotected sex and/or nondisclosure of HIV status. Society is normalizing the lives of HIV infected people including the basic human right to conceive and raise children, conflict being the desire to have children and preventing HIV transmission to their partner and/or the baby. Serodiscordant couples where the man is HIV positive and the woman is HIV negative has shown good results using assisted techniques that are safe and effective for conception. When the woman is HIV positive and the man is HIV negative the risk of transmission is much higher to the unborn baby. The techniques used for insemination include intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection. These are the three most common methods used and documented to be safe for the HIV negative mother. The intrauterine insemination is a procedure where the infected HIV sperm is medically washed to remove the virus and then placed in the partner’s uterus. The sperm are responsible for the transmission of HIV virus during sexual intercourse, the most common mode of spreading the infection. The fluid it bathes in is not the culprit of transmission of HIV, the actual sperm is the carrier of the virus. The sperm can be “washed” of HIV, but scientists disagree about the safety of the procedure. Studies have been completed in Milan where the sperm “washing” was used and 2000 procedures were performed and no woman or child was infected with HIV. In vitro fertilization is another process in which eggs are fertilized with sperm outside the body and then inserted into the uterus. This process is also effective with an HIV positive man and HIV negative woman. The in vitro is performed after a thorough sperm washing is performed. Research has shown that between two and eight of every 100 samples tested positive for the virus after a sperm washing therefore the risk is still present however very low. Intracytopalsmic sperm injection is a type of in vitro process where a single sperm is injected directly into an egg and transplanted into the uterus. These methods have been shown to be safe and effective for serodiscordant couples where the man is HIV positive and the woman is HIV negative. HIV positive woman have a 1 in 4 chance of passing the virus to their babies, which is much higher than a HIV positive man. Even though the placenta is connects the mother and baby there is