Bill That Would Allow HIV-Positive Men To Have Sperm Washed Approved

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The California Senate recently voted 35-1 to approve a bill (SB 443) that would allow HIV-positive men to have their sperm washed and used for fertility treatments, the MediaNews/Oakland Tribune reports (Geissinger, MediaNews/Oakland Tribune,8/29). The bill would allow the washed sperm to be used in treatmentssuch as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization undercertain guidelines.

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The state in 1989 began prohibitingHIV-positive people from donating sperm, blood or tissue in an attemptto curb the spread of the virus. The law has prevented HIV-positive menfrom using reproductive technologies that lower the risk oftransmitting HIV to their partners. The bill, sponsored by state Sen.Carole Migden (D), would allow couples that include HIV-positive men touse reproductive technology under the following guidelines: theHIV-positive donor's sperm is processed to minimize the risk of HIVtransmission; informed mutual consent has occurred; and the American Society for Reproductive Medicinerecognizes the sperm processing procedures.

California is one of twostates where couples with an HIV-positive man cannot undergo fertilitytreatments with his donated sperm, Deborah Cohan, medical director ofthe Bay Area Perinatal AIDS Center, said. She added that many of thosecouples try to conceive through intercourse, which increases the riskof HIV transmission to the woman and, potentially, to the infant. Ofthe 3,800 reported cases outside California in which couples with anHIV-positive man have used reproductive technology, not one case of HIVtransmission has been reported, according to Cohan (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/30).

Thebill concurred in Assembly amendments and was sent to Gov. ArnoldSchwarzenegger (R). Migden said that California law "needs to catch upwith technology" (MediaNews/Oakland Tribune, 8/29).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyHIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . TheKaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service ofThe Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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