Bioethics News

Mother to child transmission of HIV? Now affected couples could conceive a healthy child naturally

Mother to child transmission of HIV is almost resolved. When the existence of people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was described in 1980, it was thought that this could directly affect their chances of conceiving a child. However, with the therapeutic advances that have been emerging, the panorama has been changing drastically. The first consequence is that there is already very little likelihood that a HIV-positive pregnant women can infect her child, i.e. so-called vertical transmission of HIV from mother to child has been practically resolved. Undoubtedly however, the most important thing is that it can now be practically assured that HIV-positive individuals, properly treated, will not transmit the infection to their children, whether they use assisted procreation or natural conception (Human Reproduction  31; 18-925, 2016). We believe this last possibility is very important, as it circumvents the ethical difficulties that accompany assisted reproduction techniques, especially in vitro fertilisation.

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