Reproduction in sero-discordant patients

Introduction

The high prevalence of HIV in fertile-age patients, together with the increased life expectancy and quality of life provided by the introduction of highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) means that there are more and more couples with one seropositive partner (serodiscordant couples) who wish to have children.

Before embarking on any procedure, couples should be fully and clearly informed about the alternatives available, explaining the benefits and risks associated with each one of the possible techniques used to attain a pregnancy.

Our Reproductive Medicine Department has a standard protocol for serodiscordant couples. This protocol was approved by the Department of Health of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia (Generalitat de Catalunya) and the Ethics Committee at the Women’s Health Dexeus.

According to this protocol, before conducting any technique we must obtain all pertinent information about the global health status of the couple, with recent and progressive determinations of the status of both persons in terms of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, immunological progression and viral load in patients with HIV, treatment history, etc. The reproductive potential of both partners should also be evaluated.

In addition to specific protocols, the professional teams who perform these techniques must also have a duly adapted laboratory to ensure the protection of both laboratory staff and the samples used for these procedures.

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