The Hadassah University Medical Center’s AIDS Fertility Clinic has announced the birth of its first healthy baby to an HIV-positive father, thanks to its innovative fertility program for males with HIV.

Seven other couples treated at Hadassah’s AIDS Fertility Clinic are expecting babies. The Clinic uses a washing technique that separates the healthy sperm cells from all other white cells in the sperm which may contain the virus. The healthy sperm are then used to fertilize the wife’s egg through intrauterine insemination (IUI). The treatment yields sufficient clean sperm for three to four inseminations.

Prof. Shlomo Maayan, head of the Hadassah AIDS Center, initiated this multidisciplinary project, which involves Prof. Alex Simon and Dr. Yoel Shufaro of Hadassah’s In vitro Fertilization Center, Prof. Dana Wolf, head of Hadassah’s Clinical Virology Unit, and Fertility Technician Awad Sarur. “The ability to procreate despite HIV is a dream come true for the couples who have waited so long to create a family,” comments Dr. Karen Olshtain-Pops, Coordinator of the Hadassah AIDS Center program.

Initial funding for the project came from a donation by Prof. Philippe Halfon of Marseille, France and Prof. Raymond Schinazi of Emory University, Atlanta, GA, and their families.