Sperm washing in HIV-positive men

The high prevalence of HIV virus in men of reproductive age, and the advance of retroviral treatments, which improve the life quality of HIV patients, make that serodiscordant couples (only one member affected by the disease) wish to become parents more and more often.

HIV virus

For men who are HIV virus carriers, there is the option of a sperm washing, which ensures that there’s no risk, for the mother and the future baby during the pregnancy, that the man spreads the disease.

HIV virus is a retrovirus transmitted through blood, sexual fluids, and through vertical transmission (from the mother to the children). AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is the most serious manifestation of HIV-positive people: their immune system is affected by the virus and the body remains with no defenses.

Sperm washing result

In order to carry out a washing, it is necessary the man leaves a sperm sample in an andrology laboratory; through different techniques, sperm with better motility are separated from the rest of the components (seminal plasma, epidermic cells, weak sperm…)


Once isolated the fastest sperm, the presence of the virus is analyzed through PCR; if the result is negative (no virus found), this sample is adequate to be used in an assisted reproduction treatment. The sample is normally virus-free between 95 and 97% of the times. If the virus is present, the process of washing is carried out again with the same sample, in order to completely eliminate the virus and leave the sample HIV-negative.

A part from HIV-positive men, this technique is used also in case of other illnesses, such as Hepatitis C: it allows patients to have their own children, without turning to sperm donation. There is a very high guarantee of success, and no transmission case after the washing has been described so far.


  1. Featured

    My husband he is in such situation: HIV postive with a viral load undetectable cd4 cout 604, while I’m negative. We’re planining to get our own kids without sperm donor. Pls how can we get access to the sperm washing? We live in Nigeria. Thx

    • avatar
      Sandra F.Fertility Counselor

      Hello Victoria,

      Are you planning to travel abroad? This is important before providing you with any advice. Anyway, my advice now is that you complete our form: https://www.invitra.com/estimates/ By doing it, you will receive detailed estimates with the approximate cost of sperm donation from various fertility clinics.

      I hope this helps,

      All the best

  1. usuario
    Aston N Kasonde

    Educative site!

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