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California Reversing HIV Sperm Washing Ban
  Unanimous OK for bill on 'sperm washing'
Senate panel votes to end 18-year ban

Greg Lucas, SF Chronicle Sacramento Bureau
Thursday, March 29, 2007
(03-29) 04:00 PDT Sacramento -- On a bipartisan unanimous vote, legislation that would end California's ban on donations of sperm from HIV-positive men was approved Wednesday by the Senate Health Committee.
The ban was imposed 18 years ago before the development of medical technology which can "wash" HIV from sperm so it can then be used to fertilize a consenting woman without risk of HIV transmission.
Without a change allowing HIV-positive men to use the treatment, the only way they can impregnate their wife or partner is through unprotected sex, which can lead to transmission.
"All families deserve access to the tools that reproductive science has to offer," said Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, the bill's author.
A decade of studies from around the world have logged 4,500 fertility treatments using washed sperm with no instances of HIV transmission to either the woman or child.
California is one of two states whose laws don't recognize the sperm treatment. "I just feel it's unfair to play Russian roulette with my wife's health," testified Dan Hartmann, a 32-year-old Oakland graphic artist who got HIV from a blood transfusion when he was 12.
E-mail Greg Lucas at
California Senate Approves Bill That Would Allow HIV-Positive Men To Have Sperm Washed, Used for Fertility Treatments
Alameda Times-Star
By Steve Geissinger,
SACRAMENTO - As the Legislature swept toward its Sept. 14 deadline, the Senate approved a bill by Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, to allow the use of medical technology that makes conception with an HIV-positive partner safe.
SB 443 passed 35-1, concurring in Assembly amendments and sending the bill to the governor.
Sperm can be cleansed of HIV but current law prevents it. This bill would clear the way for would-be parents, where the father is HIV positive, to take advantage of the procedure.
California law "needs to catch up with technology," Migden said.
Contact Steve Geissinger at or (916) 447-9302.
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