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Home Breaking New Law Allows People with HIV to Donate Eggs or Sperm for Fertility Treatment

New Law Allows People with HIV to Donate Eggs or Sperm for Fertility Treatment

In a groundbreaking move, people with non-transmissible HIV in the UK are now permitted to donate eggs or sperm to their partners for fertility treatment. This significant change comes as part of an amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, allowing more individuals, including those in same-sex relationships, to pursue their dreams of starting a family.

Previously, under current rules on in vitro fertilization (IVF), only male partners with HIV could donate sperm to their female partners. However, the amended law now extends this right to individuals with non-transmissible HIV, provided their viral load is low enough not to pass on the virus.

Health Minister Maria Caulfield emphasized the importance of these changes in promoting equality and accessibility in fertility care. She highlighted that the law adjustment will not only allow more people to become parents but will also eliminate additional screening costs for female same-sex couples undergoing reciprocal IVF treatment.

The new regulations stipulate that individuals with HIV can donate their gametes to family, friends, or known recipients if they meet certain criteria, including maintaining an undetectable viral load through antiretroviral treatment for at least six months prior to donation. Additionally, the known recipient must be informed of the donor’s HIV diagnosis and provide consent.

Julia Chain, chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), welcomed the legislative changes, emphasizing the importance of fair treatment for all individuals undergoing fertility treatment. She encouraged patients and donors affected by these changes to seek information on the HFEA website.

Professor Kevin Fenton emphasized the broad impact of the amendment, benefiting various couples, including same-sex male couples in surrogacy arrangements and female same-sex couples planning shared motherhood.

Minister for Equalities Stuart Andrew hailed the changes as a step towards reducing stigma surrounding HIV and enabling more individuals to experience the joy of parenthood.

The amendment to the act is expected to facilitate the offering of treatment for people with undetectable HIV by clinics within approximately three months following the change in the law. Additionally, the government has introduced measures to enhance transparency in NHS-funded IVF treatment, allowing individuals to access information about available services in their area.

This legislative change marks a significant milestone in promoting inclusivity and expanding access to fertility services, ensuring that more individuals, regardless of their HIV status or sexual orientation, have the opportunity to build a family.

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