Donate specifically to support the Special Program of Assisted Reproduction and related research.
Foundation scientists have been analyzing semen specimens from men infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) since 1997. The primary goal has been to develop routine laboratory assays for HIV in the semen of men seeking to parent. Sperm from only those specimens with undetectable virus are used to attempt pregnancy, thus markedly decreasing risks to mothers and babies.
Importantly, during the course of the research, it has become apparent that semen virus arises from an infection reservoir separate from blood infection, and that periodic monitoring of semen specimens for viral burden may be important to prevent HIV disease progression.
The research and test procedures are expensive, and an additional burden to the already staggering costs for anti-retroviral medications. Gifts to this program can be earmarked to help offset costs of testing for couples seeking to parent.
We are especially interested in helping support the parenting goals of HIV-infected men with hemophilia. Approximately 10,000 men and boys with hemophilia were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C virus in the early 1980’s, before the U.S. blood supply was routinely tested for these two viruses. The blood clotting factors required to prevent people with hemophilia from bleeding to death were contaminated with the viruses. It is estimated that 7,500 of those infected have now died; those remaining on aggressive anti-retroviral therapy have a high likelihood of living a normal life span.
Foundation scientists are also seeking funds to support developing laboratory tests for other sexually transmitted viruses, including Hepatitis B (and possibly Hepatitis C), and Human T-Cell Leukemia Viruses I and II.
Funding is also being sought to transfer the semen testing technologies to other countries, The first step is to identify appropriate testing sites. For additional information about this goal, please contact us directly.
Visit SPAR – www.BedfordSPAR.org