The world's first HIV-positive sperm bank has launched in New Zealand on Wednesday and within a span of hours, has registered three donors.
Although the donors aren't HIV-free, the campaign makes it abundantly clear that they can't transmit the disease through childbirth or even unprotected sex.
Sperm Positive begins with three male donors from across New Zealand who are living with HIV but have an undetectable viral load, meaning the amount of the virus in their blood is so low it can not be detected by standard methods.
Donor Damien Rule-Neal changed into as soon as identified with HIV in 1999 however changed into as soon as confirmed undetectable after beginning remedy some 18 years ago. "We have the scientific data to say that drugs make you untransmitable", stated Rule-Neal, who was identified nearly 20 years in the past on the BBC.
The initiative, created by the New Zealand Aids Foundation, Positive Women Inc and Body Positive, hopes to educate people in New Zealand about HIV transmission.
According to the Sperm Positive website, the bank will not be operating as a fertility clinic "in any way", but "several local fertility clinics are able to support people living with HIV to utilize their services". This can be achieved with antiretroviral therapy.
However, the common denominator is that all three men have undetectable loads - in essence, they can not pass the virus on to their partners or children. "It shows that science and medication have given us that ability back".
Dr. Commenting on the publication, Mark Thomas, an infectious diseases doctor and adjunct professor at Auckland University, said: "I'm glad to say that the public's understanding of HIV has changed a lot during this time, but many people who have been with it Living HIV still suffers from stigma".
HIV.gov estimates that 37.9 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.
But HIV continues to be one of the world's most serious public health challenges.
In 2018, UNAIDS said around 1.7 million people were newly infected with HIV, a sharp decrease compared to the 2.9 million individuals newly infected in 1997.