At this initial meeting, Dr. Ann Kiessling, the Director of SPAR, will review your specific circumstances, risks, treatment options available for you, and answer your questions. If needed, a special plan for client confidentiality will be developed.
She will be your advocate with fertility clinics and other physicians as needed.
Evaluation of specimens begins with the specialized semen analyses provided when the specimen is submitted for viral testing .
However, it is possible that SPAR staff may recommend not going forward with a pregnancy cycle, or postponing the cycle if a problem has been found, such as multiple semen specimens testing positive for virus. This may be caused by common problems in semen producing organs, such as inflammation of the prostate, that can be treated by a urologist.
In addition to safety considerations for pregnancy attempts, it is in the long term health interests of the HIV-infected male to decrease or eliminate HIV in all semen producing organs.
Cryopreserve (freeze to keep alive) purified (“washed”), PCR tested, sperm from at least two specimens prior to beginning infertility treatment. This requires at least two Live Semen Transport Kits . Sperm from two specimens are required to guarantee the availability of viable sperm.
Each specimen will be tested for HIV by the specialized molecular biology PCR test for virus particles and for infected cells. Sperm only from specimens with an undetectable viral burden will be used to attempt a pregnancy.
Additionally, if necessary, sperm may be recovered from the testis (testicular sperm aspiration, known as TESA) or the epididymis (microepididymal sperm aspiration, MESA). This is accomplished by delicate surgical procedures developed for male-factor infertility. It is possible to test the aspirates for HIV.
The female partner will undergo a thorough evaluation by a gynecologist or an infertility specialist. Although most women entering SPAR will not have an infertility problem, infertility treatment requires medications and examinations that are costly and time consuming, so full evaluation of the female’s reproductive tract is important in order to anticipate or correct problems that might arise.
Hormone levels and antibodies against infectious diseases will also be measured. This information will help anticipate the possible response to IVF medications, deteremine prior exposure to infectious agents, and measure protective immunity important to all women seeking to establish a pregnancy.
The Foundation can ship cryopreserved specimens to most locations in the world.
The fee for shipment, and the signed consent form, are required in advance and all outstanding charges on the pateint’s account must be reconciled. In order to protect your specimen from loss, damage or delay during shipping, the Foundation will generally only ship specimens Monday through Wednesday. Specimens are shipped in a dryshipper containing liquid nitrogen vapor. At least 30 days notice is required prior to shipping.