(PRWEB) February 27, 2003
CHICAGO Â A newly opened laboratory in the heart of downtown Chicago now specializes in sperm processing for HIV-positive men who wish to father children.
Reproductive Lab Services offers HIV-positive men the full gamut of sperm processing procedures for fertility management, including semen analysis and cryopreservation for insemination and in vitro fertilization (IVF).
ÂStudies have shown that nearly 30% of men who test positive for HIV have strong desires to father children,Â states Mary Damirayakhian, Ph.D., M(ASCP), the laboratory andrologist/microbiologist. ÂAlthough the virus causing AIDS has been shown to be present in the seminal fluid of HIV-positive patients, clinical filtering techniques can actually make these sperm samples biologically safe for artificial reproductive technologies, such as IVF.Â
In fact, the downgrading by the United States government of HIV-infection status from ÂterminalÂ to ÂchronicÂ has introduced new medical possibilities and responsibilities.
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that a person with HIV must be considered Âdisabled,Â and therefore protected under the American Disability Act now legally entitles HIV-positive patients to all available medical services, including fertility management and reproductive services. Center for Disease Control guidelines have even prompted the American Society for Reproductive Medicine to recently conclude that reproductive specialists actually have the responsibility to assist discordant HIV positive couples with their fertility management.
Reproductive Lab Services has been created to help fulfill the legally binding and scientifically acceptable reproductive needs of HIV-discordant couples. Food and Drug Administration regulation of reproductive laboratories will further ensure the safety and legality of these services. In fact, the FDA has stated that if a tissue is tested or screened and still found unsuitable, the sample may nonetheless be transferred to a sexually intimate partner, following informed consent.
ÂWe are excited to be able to offer these long-overdue and much-needed fertility services to HIV-discordant couples,Â Dr. Damirayakhian states. ÂFor the first time, a laboratory will be solely devoted to processing and storing the sperm of HIV-positive patients. By offering such services, we can legally and safely help fulfill the dreams of HIV-discordant couples to have healthy children.Â