Owing to their pathology, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) serodiscordant couples (one member of the couple is positive and the other is not) must maintain sexual relations using protection (condoms) to prevent them from transmitting the disease to their partner. Consequently, this compromises the couple’s desire to have children.
Nowadays, it is possible to determine the quality and quantity of the presence of the virus in sperm samples from HIV or HCV positive men through the use of molecular techniques. This type of technique is developed in highly specialized clinical analysis laboratories which report the presence or absence of these viruses with a high degree of reliability and, therefore, the possibility of infection for both the partner and their children.
The sperm sample is subjected to a ‘double wash’ which practically eliminates the presence of viruses. The sample is then divided in two: part is used for a molecular analysis of the presence of virus; and part is cryo-preserved for later use in assisted reproduction. If the molecular analysis does not detect presence of neither virus particles nor proviral DNA, the cryo-preserved part of the sample can be safely used for fertility treatment.