Committee To Hear Bill to Revise Donor Policies
The Senate Health Committee on Wednesday will hear a bill (SB 443) introduced by Sen. Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) that would allow HIV-positive males to use reproductive medical services, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Lucas, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/27).
A 1989 state law bans HIV-positive individuals from donating sperm, blood or tissue in an effort to reduce the spread of disease.
Migden says current law discriminates against HIV-positive men who might opt to try to conceive through intercourse, thereby increasing the risk of infection.
The measure would allow couples to take advantage of artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization. Before the process, the semen first would be treated to minimize the risk of transmitting HIV in a procedure known as "sperm washing" (California Healthline, 3/6).
The bill would affect a small part of the population because of the high cost of the reproductive services. In-vitro fertilization costs between $10,000 and $15,000, while artificial insemination costs about $1,000, according to Migden.
Sen. Sam Aanestad (R-Grass Valley), vice chair of the health committee, said, "There needs to be some stronger oversight built into the bill, but allowing an HIV-infected person to lead a normal life with their spouse and/or partner to procreate -- I'm absolutely for that" (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/27).