In November 2019 the world’s first HIV-positive sperm bank launched in New Zealand. The goal was to reduce HIV stigma by reinforcing U=U messaging. The sperm bank, called Sperm Positive, was a project formed by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF), Positive Women Inc (PWI) and Body Positive.
As a result of this campaign, two women have become pregnant from inseminating themselves with semen from men living with HIV. The men donating sperm are undetectable and can’t pass on HIV because they have been on treatment for years.
“The science has been out since 2008,” said Jane Bruning, National Coordinator of PWI. “Unfortunately in reality it hasn’t been acknowledged that anybody who is HIV-positive, who is on medications and their viral load is undetectable, they cannot transmit HIV sexually, to the child or any other way, really.”
This campaign has had amazing outcomes, both in terms of education and changing lives. In late January this year, the first baby was born. Mother and baby are doing well and the donor is ecstatic. Being able to ‘be a dad’ is extra special for someone who never thought he would have the opportunity.