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Use of assisted reproduction in HIV- and hepatitis-infected couples

Stephanie J Estes, MD, FACOG
Elizabeth S Ginsburg, MD
Section Editor
Robert L Barbieri, MD
Deputy Editor
Kristen Eckler, MD, FACOG


A growing proportion of couples seeking fertility services have medical issues that need to be addressed. This topic will discuss fertility treatment for individuals chronically infected with HIV or hepatitis C virus, as these individuals can transmit the infection to an uninfected partner during the process of conception. Counseling these couples about the safest methods for avoiding viral transmission to their partner involves discussion of adoption, child-free living, and use of donor sperm, in addition to natural or assisted conception with their own gametes.

Recommendations for reducing the risk of viral transmission during fertility treatment have been published by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) [1]. The basic principles underlying these recommendations are:

Reduce viral load in the infected partner(s)

Reduce the non-infected partner’s exposure and susceptibility to the infection

Discuss the available scientific evidence and risk reduction strategies with both the patient and partner to provide a basis for informed consent.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: May 26, 2016.
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