New Zealand launched the world's first HIV positive online sperm bank in an attempt to remove the stigma experienced by all those living with the virus. The bank has been named Sperm Positive and at present has a total of three donors from different parts of New Zealand who are currently living with an undetectable HIV strain in their blood. This means the strain of the virus is at such a low level that it cannot be detected by standard procedures.
Even though the virus is at an undetectable level, the person infected with HIV is not completely cured but it shows that the treatment has given positive results. This also means that the virus cannot be passed on even after unprotected sex or childbirth.
The online sperm bank mentioned that they will make it very clear to all those seeking a potential donor that they have HIV and that the donors have undergone an effective treatment and cannot pass on the virus to the baby.
According to reports, Sperm Positive stated that it will only function as a fertility clinic and if a donor match is given the green light by both the parties, it will go ahead and get them in touch with a local fertility clinic. The online fertility clinic also wants to help people with HIV that they have the opportunity to help create a life and that fertility services are available for them,
The idea to end the stigma is the brainchild of New Zealand Aids Foundation, Positive Women Inc and Body Positive with a hope to raise awareness and educate people about HIV transmission.
One of the donors, Damien Rule-Neal, was diagnosed with HIV in the year 1999 but now has an undetectable strain of the virus after having started the treatment 18 years ago. He went on to say that not many people in New Zealand were aware of what an undetectable HIV virus means and that he had been subject to stigma in both his work and personal life. Neal said that he wanted to help everyone know that there is a life beyond the treatment phase and wanted to help remove the stigma.
World Aids Day has always been observed on December 1 since the year 1988 and aims at raising awareness among people about AIDS that is caused by the HIV infection and remember those who lost their lives due to the disease.
(With inputs from agencies)