Fertility treatment options for HIV-infected individuals

Chantae S. Sullivan-Pyke, Sahadat K. Nurudeen, Lisa C. Grossman, Mark V. Sauer, Nataki C. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Many HIV-serodiscordant couples desire children and physician-assisted techniques can help individuals achieve pregnancy while reducing the risk of seroconversion in their seronegative partner. For HIV-seropositive males, sperm washing with intrauterine insemination (SW-IUI) was introduced in Europe in the early 1990s, while in the USA in vitro fertilization with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF-ICSI) has been primarily used to reduce the risk of viral transmission. When properly applied to well-selected populations, no seroconversion has been reported with either of these methods. Within the last 5 years, randomized controlled studies have demonstrated the efficacy of daily pre-exposure prophylaxis in reducing the risk of seroconversion in couples having intercourse when an HIV-seropositive male has undetectable viral loads. In both the USA and Europe, favorable reproductive outcomes have been reported for HIV-seropositive females undergoing IUI and IVF-ICSI. Herein, we review the use of various contemporary reproductive techniques available to HIV-serodiscordant couples interested in having children, including new data on cumulative clinical pregnancy rates and cumulative live-birth rates after IVF-ICSI for male serodiscordant couples. We conclude by proposing that pre-exposure prophylaxis with SW-IUI may be a safe, economical and effective alternative for achieving pregnancy in well-selected, monogamous HIV-serodiscordant couples where the male partner is seropositive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1219-1231
Number of pages13
JournalFuture Virology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology


  • HIV
  • in vitro fertilization
  • intrauterine insemination
  • pre-exposure prophylaxis
  • serodiscordant
  • sperm washing


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