The journey to becoming a parent for gay individuals and couples can be confusing. But as an HIV-positive man, the road might seem almost impossible to navigate. At Santa Monica Fertility, we have the experience, expertise and technology to make your parenthood journey as seamless as possible. Santa Monica Fertility is one of a limited number of fertility clinics in the United States that offer fertility services, including sperm washing, egg donation and surrogacy, to men with HIV. Our state-of-the art fertility labs are equipped to safely wash semen in order to limit transmission of HIV to the gestational carrier and infant. These services, when combined with our in-house egg donor and surrogacy agencies, allow us to provide highly efficient medical care with the utmost attention to privacy and confidentiality.
HIV-Positive? Safe Parenthood is Possible.
The world is changing, and medical technology is changing along with it. HIV is not the death sentence that it was forty years ago. However, the virus may still carry a stigma and a whole heap of misconceptions. Before we move on, let’s clear up a dangerous myth that some still believe: that HIV-positive people cannot conceive an HIV-negative child. The fact is, both men and women who are HIV-positive can create and raise healthy, happy, and HIV-negative children by working with their doctors and staying on top of their treatment.
What is Sperm Washing?
Understanding how HIV is transmitted will help you see how the virus can be passed from parent to child. While HIV is sexually transmitted, the virus is not actually carried by a man’s individual sperm cells. Rather, the virus is carried by the seminal fluid. Because of this, a process called sperm washing is frequently used to help HIV-positive men conceive a healthy, HIV-negative baby.
Sperm washing is a laboratory procedure in which a semen sample is processed to remove seminal fluid, non-moving sperm cells, cellular debris, and bacteria. What’s left is a population of highly-motile sperm cells that can be used during IVF. The washing process is also highly effective in reducing the viral load of HIV to non-detectable levels. Typically, the freshly produced semen sample is layered over a specially prepared density gradient in a test tube. It is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the highly motile sperm cells from all the other components of the ejaculate. Washed sperm has been used successfully and safely in thousands of fertility treatment cycles.
Egg Donation and Surrogacy for HIV Positive Men
Egg donation and surrogacy make it possible for gay men to conceive their own, biological child. For HIV-positive men, this process will involve combining washed sperm with healthy donor eggs. A surrogate will then carry the resulting embryos. While this process is very helpful for gay fathers, all different types of people use egg donation and/or surrogacy to become parents.
At Santa Monica Fertility, we use our in-house egg donation and surrogacy agencies to help intended parents choose both egg donors and surrogates. We thoroughly screen every woman, running health examinations, background checks, and more to ensure they are the right fit for either donation or surrogacy. We then work closely with all of our intended parents to help them choose the right egg donor or surrogate for them. Our full-service clinic is here to support you during every step of this journey, making a notoriously long process as easy and stress-free as possible.
LGBTQ+ Individuals and Couples
We respect your right to become a parent in a way that works for your family. We work with many LGBTQ+ couples individuals and understand the unique challenges that they face on the road to parenthood. Our goal is always to provide you with healthcare that is safe, affirming, and effective. If you and your partner are both HIV-positive, then we can use sperm washing, egg donation, and surrogacy to help you create a healthy baby.
Meet Dr. Panagiotis Vagenas, our HIV expert
Dr. Vagenas is an internationally recognized expert in the field of HIV. After completing his training at Imperial College London and Yale University, Dr. Vagenas embarked on a career focusing on societal factors affecting the gay community with a particular emphasis on HIV. We welcome his expertise as part of our program to assist HIV positive men become fathers using egg donation and surrogacy. In his blog, Dr Vagenas will contribute his knowledge, expertise and thoughts to provide information and guidance for men with HIV looking to start a family.
Gay Men, HIV & Fatherhood by Dr. Panagiotis Vagenas
HIV has changed from a lethal pandemic to a manageable chronic condition, allowing HIV-positive men to build the families they desire; what can we do to make that dream more accessible? Gay...Read More
Learn More Today
At Santa Monica Fertility, we can help you become a parent, regardless of your HIV status. We use cutting-edge science and a caring, compassionate approach to make the process as seamless as possible. If you are ready to get started with building your family, or just need someone to answer your questions, contact us or call us at (310) 566 1470.