Conception for HIV+ couples

I’ve idly wondered from time to time how serodiscordant couples maintained a relationship, and how they have children. You see them at the pharmacy, and you know one of them is HIV+ and the other is not, so it does get you thinking. Especially when they have kids.

Wonder no more. Medscape and Viread to the rescue!

All of the couples in the study wanted to have children; the men were already taking antiretrovirals that suppressed their serum HIV below the detectable level.

To further reduce the risk of infection in the female partners, the researchers gave each of them two doses of tenofovir, one to be taken 36 hours before intercourse and another 12 hours before.

After each of the couples had made three attempts, 11 of the 21 couples had conceived, Dr. Vernazza said, and after 10 attempts, 15 were pregnant. These are substantially higher rates than might be expected with artificial reproduction, Vernazza said.

All the women in the study tested negative for HIV, 3 months after the last exposure, the researchers report. “The risk of transmission in a couple with a fully treated male partner is low and can further be reduced by timed intercourse and a short pre-exposure prophylaxis with tenofovir,” Dr. Vernazza said.


“Persuasion of the patients might sometimes be a problem, in which case we still offer them in vitro fertilization (with sperm washing),” he said. “But in general, an hour to explain all the data is enough.”

An hour, eh? I wonder if there’s a billing code for that?

[tags]HIV, AIDS, conception, tenofovir, Viread[/tags]

2 thoughts on “Conception for HIV+ couples

  1. It wouldn’t matter if they spent 2 hrs explaining the data.
    I’d still be unwilling to have unprotected intercourse.
    Low risk is not NO risk.
    IVF would be the only option for me.

  2. Yeah, I’m inclined to feel the same way.

    But then I think I’d have a difficult time having a sexual relationship with someone ANY STD for that matter. That might net me some flak, but I’ve invested in some industrial-strength asbestos underwear, and where I decide to stick my genitalia is my own business.

    What you do with yours is your own, naturally.

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