People with HIV can be sperm and egg donors

People with HIV can be sperm and egg donors
By: Health Posted On: May 15, 2024 View: 18

A mum with her baby

Same-sex couples with non-transmissible HIV will now be able to donate eggs or sperm and become parents.

UK laws are changing to keep up with the science that shows it is safe, say experts.

Highly effective medication means the risk of passing the virus on can be eliminated.

The move is part of wider work to improve IVF access and ensure equal rights.

Fairer system

The law change will mean thousands of same-sex couples where one or both partners have HIV but an undetectable viral load - meaning it can't be passed on - can have children.

Until now, the only allowance for HIV was a man giving sperm to a female partner.

Campaigners say it is a "huge win" for both HIV and LGBT+ rights.

Deborah Gold from the National Aids Trust said: "We are now looking ahead to Parliament approving this secondary legislation, and celebrating the huge difference it will bring to lives and choices of LGBT+ people living with HIV who want to start a family."

People with HIV can now donate sperm or eggs to family, friends and known recipients provided that:

Ministers are also scrapping extra screening costs for female same-sex couples undergoing shared motherhood IVF treatment - where one partner provides the egg and the other carries the embryo.

Currently these couples, unlike heterosexual ones, have to get screened for syphilis and have genetic tests for things like cystic fibrosis, which can cost more than £1,000.

Health Minister Maria Caulfield said the changes would create a fairer system and would allow more people to "fulfil their dream of becoming parents".

Minister for Equalities Stuart Andrew MP said: "Treatment for HIV has improved significantly, saving countless lives, but the stigma surrounding it persists.

"These changes will help to reduce that stigma, making it clear that people with HIV can live full and happy lives."

Clinics should be able to start doing this in the next few months, the government says.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which regulates clinics, says it will be providing guidance soon to help with the change.

Thanks to antiretroviral drugs, most people living with HIV in the UK have an undetectable viral load in blood and so cannot transmit HIV sexually.

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