(The following summary is excerpted from the article's abstract):
This research is about the Special Program of Assisted Reproduction (SPAR), which started in 1994 as a support group for couples living with incurable, sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV/AIDS. SPAR is a program that combines PCR HIV Semen Testing and Sperm Washing to screen and prepare semen specimens from HIV-infected men for safe in vitro fertilzation (IVF) procedures. IVF is the most well known of assisted reproduction techniques. In this method, the woman takes fertility drugs to stimulate her ovaries to produce more eggs. The physician then retrieves one or more of the eggs by laparoscopy or by passing a needle through the vaginal wall. The partner's sperm is then mixed with the eggs in a petri dish, and fertilization may take place.
The program is based on research findings that approximately two-thirds of semen specimens produced by healthy, HIV infected men have an undetectable amount of HIV. Sperm from such specimens are safer for use in assisted reproduction than "washed sperm" from untested specimens, or from specimens that test positive for virus. The success of SPAR demonstrates the speed and efficiency with which dedicated public charities can bring about biomedical advances.