Clinical Trials


HIV-discordant Couple Intrauterine Insemination

Expanded access is no longer available for this treatment.
University of Missouri-Columbia

Information provided by (Responsible Party)
Erma Drobnis, University of Missouri-Columbia Identifier

First received: September 10, 2009
Last updated: November 30, 2015
Last Verified: November 2015
History of Changes


The investigators propose to treat couples who wish to have a child in which the man is HIV-positive and the woman is HIV-negative. The investigators call these couples HIV-discordant. On the average, an HIV-positive man, who does not participate in high-risk activities, will transmit HIV to a female partner one in every one thousand acts of intercourse without a condom. To reduce transmission of HIV, HIV-discordant couples are counseled to avoid intercourse altogether, or to use condoms during every act of intercourse. In order to have a child, these patients can use donor insemination. If they wish to have a natural child of the infected man, they can use a combination of medication of the man to reduce the amount of virus in his semen, and condom use except at the time of ovulation when the woman produces an egg. This reduces the chance of infecting the woman, but studies have shown that about 4% of women will be infected with HIV using this approach. Alternatively, they can use vitro fertilization (IVF) with intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in which eggs are collected from the woman after hormone-stimulation and are fertilized in the laboratory by injecting a single washed sperm from her husband into each egg. The resulting embryos can be transferred to the wife's uterus and/or frozen for later use. These procedures are believed to minimize the risk of HIV transmission (although the number of cases is low), but IVF-ICSI is very expensive and are not an option for everyone. A simpler method used for over 15 years in Europe is to collect the man's semen, wash the sperm in the laboratory, and test the sperm sample for HIV before placing it in the woman's uterus (intrauterine insemination; IUI). Although the risk of HIV transmission to the woman is presumably not zero with this method, over 4000 inseminations reported have not resulted in infection of any female patients or resulting children.

Condition Intervention
HIV Infections

Other : Sperm washing and testing for HIV contamination
Procedure : Intrauterine Insemination

Study Type: Expanded Access   What is Expanded Access?
Official Title: Intrauterine Insemination for HIV-discordant Couples

Further study details as provided by Erma Drobnis, University of Missouri-Columbia:

Detailed Description:

This study will enroll couples who wish to have a child in which the man is HIV-seropositive and the woman is HIV-seronegative. The couple will be counseled about their reproductive options, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) donor insemination and adoption. The male patient will be using appropriate therapy to reduce the virus in his semen. Semen will undergo specialized washing to reduce viral contamination of sperm. The sperm are first separated from leukocytes and other seminal constituents by centrifugation over a stepwise gradient. Motile sperm will be separated from the resulting pellet by a swim-up step in which washed sperm are overlaid with fresh medium into which sperm migrate. The final sperm suspension will be stored while testing for HIV is performed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Specimens found negative for HIV will then be used for IUI (review: Gilling-Smith et al, 2006; Bujan et al 2007). There is presumably some risk of HIV transmission to the woman and resulting child with this approach; however, over 4000 inseminations reported in Europe over the last 15 years have not resulted in infection of any female patient or resulting child. The woman will be followed for a year after the final IUI to assess seroconversion. If a child is born, he or she will be tested for HIV at 3 months of age.



Ages Eligible for Study: 18 Years to 38 Years  
Sexes Eligible for Study: All  


Inclusion Criteria:
Couple must:

  • attest to safe sex practices
  • know the HIV-status of their partner
  • be informed of risks of this procedure and alternatives, including donor insemination
  • have the ability to provide informed consent
  • been referred or self-refer to Dr. Schust for infertility treatment

  • Female must:
  • be 18-38 years of age
  • have a normal menstrual cycle before the IUI cycle
  • be negative for HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C
  • have a standard infertility evaluation and be a candidate for intrauterine insemination

  • Male must:
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • be HIV-seropositive
  • be under the care of an infectious disease specialist
  • disease must be under control without evidence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), with viral load <50,000 copies/mL and CD4 count > 250 cells/mL for the preceding 6 month period
  • have semen quality adequate for intrauterine insemination
If the couple does not achieve pregnancy after IUI, they may continue in the study for 5 additional treatment subsequent cycles. The man must continue to receive care for his HIV and the disease must continue to be under control. Before each cycle of insemination, the couple must each sign an attestation statement that he/she is following safe sex practices, and have repeat testing for sexually-transmitted infections.

contacts and locations

Contacts and Locations

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision.Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below.For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00975546


United States, Missouri
Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine & Fertility
Columbia, Missouri, United States, 65201

Sponsors and Collaborators

University of Missouri-Columbia


Principal Investigator: Danny J Schust, MD University of Missouri-Columbia
Principal Investigator: Erma Z Drobnis, PhD University of Missouri-Columbia
More Information

More Information

Responsible Party: Erma Drobnis, Clinical Asssistant Professor, University of Missouri-Columbia Identifier: NCT00975546   History of Changes  
Other Study ID Numbers: HIV-IUI  
Study First Received: September 10, 2009  
Last Updated: November 30, 2015  

Keywords provided by Erma Drobnis, University of Missouri-Columbia:

HIV discordant
Infertility in HIV-discordant couples
HIV seronegativity

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
HIV Infections
Infertility processed this data on August 14, 2018
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