New Zealand has launched the world’s first HIV positive sperm bank on 27 November intending to fight stigma and discrimination around those who are living with the illness.
Three charities, New Zealand AIDS Foundation, Positive Women and Body Positive have initiated the sperm bank. Charities believe this step would educate people about the transmission of HIV.
It was launched ahead of World’s AIDS Day on 1 December.
The clinic is named Sperm Positive. Currently, it has three HIV Positive male donors who have undetectable viral load which means that the amount of virus in their blood is so low that they cannot be detected by standard methods and cannot infect. That means all donors are HIV positive, but treatment is working well and so the virus cannot be passed on (even through sex without a condom or childbirth).
The sperm bank will not conduct any fertility-related activities but will put people in touch with local fertility clinics.
One of the three donors Damien Rule Neal, 45, discovered HIV 20 years ago. He has three grandchildren and two children.
Rule – Neal said, “I want people to know life does not stop after being diagnosed with HIV and that it is safe to have children if you are on treatment”.
HIV is one of the most challenging public health issues. And in 2018, 38 million people had HIV AIDS.
In recent years there have been number advancements for HIV Treatment which includes one kidney transplant case amongst the patients and Antiretroviral therapy that can lower down the virus levels in the blood and prevent it from replicating in the body. It is a combination of drugs.
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