05:00 14th March 2013 | HIV
It may take up to three months (window period) for an HIV infected person to develop a positive HIV test. This means that even though an ovum donor may screen negative at the time of embryo transfer into a recipient, there could be a risk of transmitting the HIV virus because the donor could be within this “window period”. The egg, like the sperm does not get infected with the HIV virus. Sperm is transferred with other cells that could be infected with the HIV virus but the egg is not transferred with any other cells and this reduces the risk of transmission. Moreover, the way eggs are processed after egg collection will destroy the HIV virus.
Nevertheless, there is always a risk of transmission of the virus during ovum donation treatment cycles and with the introduction of vitrification technology that provides similar pregnancy rates in fresh and frozen embryo transfer, this risk is mitigated. Most IVF clinicians are now treating ovum donor cycles the same way as sperm donor cycles by cryopreserving the embryos for six month and then retesting the donor and only transferring embryos from donors that remain HIV negative.
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