African Journal of Reproductive Health

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Management of Infertility in HIV infected couples: A Review

CO Agboghoroma, OF Giwa-Osagie


The HIV epidemic has continued to grow and remains a major challenge to mankind. In the past, ethical considerations about the resulting child and risks of sexual, vertical and nosocomial transmission of HIV prevented practitioners from offering fertility services to people living with HIV. In recent times however, the use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), has not only improved the life expectancy and quality of life of those infected but also reduced the risk of HIV transmission. The need
for fertility services in the HIV-positive population has thus increased and may be employed for management of infertility and protection from transmission or acquisition of HIV infection. As such, preconception counseling, sexual health and fertility screening have become routine in the management of HIV-positive couples. The option of care include adoption, self insemination with husband sperm, embryo donation from couples who have been verified to be HIV negative, insemination with
donor sperm, timed unprotected intercourse (TUI) and sperm washing combined with intrauterine insemination (IUI) and assisted reproductive technology (ART) including in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Access to these fertility services by HIV-positive clients should be facilitated as part of efforts to promote their reproductive health and rights. (Afr J Reprod Health 2012; 16[4]: 13-20).

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