For the first time in Israel, men with the HIV virus can have healthy children, thanks to an innovative treatment offered at the Hadassah Medical Center’s AIDS Center.
Hadassah’s male fertility laboratory uses a special washing technique to eliminate the HIV virus from the patient’s sperm before insemination. The technique yields sufficient spermfor three to four inseminations. Participants must agree to continue their AIDS cocktail treatment so that the amount of virus in the blood and semen remains close to zero.
This project is the result of a collaboration among Prof. Shlomo Maayan, Director of Hadassah’s AIDS Center and Dr. Keren Olstein of the Center; Prof. Neri Laufer and Prof. Alex Simon from Hadassah’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Prof. Dana Wolf, Director of the Clinical Virology Unit; and Jerusalem’s PUAH Institute, which helps infertile couples. The male fertility laboratory was established thanks to a generous donation from Prof. Philippe Halfon, director of a similar center in Marseille, France; Prof. Raymond F. Schinazi of Emory University in Atlanta; and their families.
“The new procedure gives hope to the 5,000 HIV carriers in Israel,” notes Prof. Maayan. “Only when we are sure that we have completely succeeded in cleaning the sperm, will we fertilize the egg,” Prof. Maayan explains.