Publications & Reports

Outcomes from the first assisted reproduction program for HIV-serodiscordant couples in Australia.

Giles ML, Barak S, Baker G, Perna S, Tabrizi S, Greengrass V, Bourne H, Clarke GN, Peak SA, Hoy JF, Foster P, Knight RL; CVI Study Group
Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.


OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical outcomes for all HIV-serodiscordant couples attending an assisted reproduction program. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Retrospective review of demographic, clinical and outcome data for all HIV-serodiscordant couples who attended an assisted reproduction program at a tertiary hospital in Melbourne, between its commencement in 2003 and June 2010. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pregnancies, miscarriages, births, HIV transmission to the HIV-negative partner, semen quality and detection of HIV (HIV RNA and HIV DNA) in semen. RESULTS: As of June 2010, 39 HIV-positive clients had proceeded to assisted reproduction after the initial consultation in the program. There were 162 completed cycles, with 26 pregnancies (clinical pregnancy rate per cycle, 16.2% for HIV-positive men with an HIV-negative partner, and 15.4% for HIV-positive women). Of all 222 tested semen samples, 18 (8%) had HIV RNA detected despite these men receiving antiretroviral therapy and having an undetectable HIV viral load in plasma. Sperm velocity was significantly lower in HIV-positive clients receiving combination antiretroviral therapy than in a control group of recipient-recruited sperm donors (P = 0.01); there were no other significant differences in sperm quality between the two groups. No HIV transmission to babies or HIV-negative partners occurred. CONCLUSION: Our findings show detectable HIV in 8% of semen samples from men with an undetectable HIV viral load in plasma, but confirm the safety of assisted reproduction for HIV-serodiscordant couples within a program with strict protocols for HIV treatment and testing of all semen before use.


  • Journal: The Medical Journal of Australia
  • Published: 21/11/2011
  • Volume: 195
  • Issue: 10
  • Pagination: 599-601

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