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Infectious Disease Research

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Bedford Research Foundation scientists have been studying Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) since the beginning of the AIDS pandemic in 1983. The focus has been on HIV infection in semen.

SPAR - Special Program of Assisted Reproduction

HIV Sperm WashingSPAR is the only program in the country that uses highly sensitive PCR tests for HIV (and other infectious disease) in combination with "sperm washing" to minimize the risk of transmitting the father's infection to the mother and child during assisted reproduction. These semen tests are also used to monitor HIV and other infectious disease therapy and may help predict therapy failure.

In August, 2007, Dr. Ann Kiessling, founder of SPAR, was interviewed for This Month in HIV - A Podcast of Critical News in HIV on

SPAR and HIV therapy monitoring website:

A Brief Overview & History

SPAR started in 1994 as a support group for couples living with HIV disease. The goal of SPAR was to use Assisted Reproductive Technologies to help couples achieve a pregnancy without transmitting the father's infection to the mother or the child.

The basic premise is that using sperm from semen specimens with no detectable virus would decrease the risk of transmitting infection. To accomplish this goal, sensitive assays for HIV in semen were developed with grant support from Bedford Research Foundation (formerly Assisted Reproduction Foundation).

Baby Ryan, the first SPAR baby, was born May, 1999 (

Anonymous, Walk In Rapid HIV Testing

Bedford Research Foundation provides walk-in, anonymous, rapid HIV testing at our Davis Square clinical test laboratory. Using the Oraquick HIV-1 and HIV-2 Antibody Test, patients can get their results in 30 minutes. The Oraquick test requires only a simple finger prick.

Walk-in hours are held on Fridays from 10AM to 1PM, and by appointment. All results are delivered by a certified HIV counselor.

There is an $80 testing and counseling fee payable at time of service by cash or money order.

For more information visit our clinical laboratory website.

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