HIV-positive men can now father children safely

HIV-positive men are able to father children without risking the health of their baby or their partner, doctors announced yesterday.

A sperm-washing treatment in which individual sperm are removed from semen and used in insemination has been pioneered by a London hospital.

Around 1,500 heterosexual men are diagnosed HIV positive every year in Britain alone, but this technique is successful because the virus is not carried in the sperm itself, doctors say.

Out of 53 couples taking part in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital study, a third were able to conceive using the method.

There were no traces of HIV in any of the sperm samples following the washing treatment.

A spokesman for the hospital said: “This is a pioneering technique which is now available to any couple as a private procedure.

“This launch is to share the knowledge and to show how successful it is,” he said.

The report, by Dr Carol Gilling-Smith, a gynaecologist at Chelsea and Westminster hospital, was presented to a HIV conference in Manchester yesterday.

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