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Hum Reprod. 2007 Sep;22(9):2353-8. Epub 2007 Jul 19.

Is natural conception a valid option for HIV-serodiscordant couples?

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Carlos III, Calle Sinesio Delgado 10, 28029 Madrid, Spain.


The remarkable reduction in HIV-related morbidity and mortality as a consequence of the widespread use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has led to a growing number of HIV-infected persons and their partners requesting counselling regarding the chances of reproduction. A thoughtful medical evaluation of the couple, which should entail HIV status, screening for genital infections and fertile potential, is needed before considering any reproductive attempt. Given that both sexual and perinatal transmission of HIV is directly correlated with the level of viral replication, being almost negligible in patients with undetectable viremia, HAART should be given to the infected partner to minimize the risk of transmission. Assisted reproduction after 'sperm washing' may further reduce the chances of infection, although this is not within reach or desire for a significant number of HIV-serodiscordant couples. From our perspective, natural conception could now be considered a possible alternative for HIV-serodiscordant couples, as long as complete suppression of viremia with HAART is achieved in the infected partner. The objective of this paper is to propose a protocol that may minimize risks in HIV-discordant couples that have opted for natural conception.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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