November #139 : Sperm of the Moment - by Josh Sparber

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Pray Tell

The South Shall Rise Again

Coming Clean

On Your Marks

What’s In, What’s Out

Sperm of the Moment

Ready for Your Screen Test?

Staph Directory

(Not So) Free of Charge

The Simplex Life

The Big Fix


Scotch Guard

Sounds Like a Plan

I Got Tested for HIV... And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

Hot Dates-November 2007

Babe Boom

The Profiler

Hot or Not?

Release Party

Toxic Avengers

Ticket to Ride

Medical Leave

Saturday's Child

Editor's Letter-November 2007

Mailbox-November 2007

Catch of the Month-November 2007

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

November 2007

Sperm of the Moment

by Josh Sparber

Some positive men ditch condoms—and forego sperm washing—to make babies safely with negative women.

Until recently, HIV-positive men who want to father a baby with a negative woman have had only one option: sperm washing, a costly lab procedure that separates sperm (which does not carry HIV) from semen (which does). Now positive-negative couples may have a low-risk, lower-cost choice. In July, Pietro Vernazza, MD, of Switzerland, reported that 22 couples had made negative babies the old-fashioned way.

“Having studied HIV transmission through semen for 15 years,” Vernazza says, “[I knew] that the lower the man’s viral load, the lower the risk.” So his team counseled the couples: The men took HIV meds until their viral load stayed undetectable for three months; then their semen was tested for HIV and the women for fertility. When HIV-free semen and female fertility coincided, the women were prescribed one dose of Viread (tenofovir) for pre-exposure prophylaxis and a second to take 24 hours later. Couples then went home to do the deed—without condoms.  Seventy percent of the women became pregnant; none got HIV.

But don’t toss the condoms yet. Vernazza estimates the transmission risk as one in 100,000, a conclusion that critics call unsafe. In the August Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, Brazilian researchers say the Swiss study wasn’t large and diverse enough to offer solid results. And it’s nearly impossible for prevention studies to prove when and how transmission does not occur. Until home testing for seminal viral load is available, conceiving may still require action in the lab as well as the bedroom.         

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Has someone ever disclosed your HIV status without your permission?

Choosing Your Meds

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2015 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.