Artificial Insemination by Donor Safety and Secrecy

Document Type



The report of seven cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in women who were artificially inseminated by donor is another landmark in the history of the HIV epidemic in North America.1 Details of the investigation reveal that the women had received semen from one of five donors subsequently found to be HIV infected. The women were inseminated at fertility centers between 1981 and 1985, before the first laboratory test for HIV was licensed and available in the United States. The tragedy of these cases is compounded by the fear that more have gone unrecognized. Not all recipients of the semen of the infected donors could be found and 30 recipients refused to be tested. These cases bring the total to 12 known cases of HIV infection in women from artificially inseminated donor semen, four in Australia,2 two in Canada,1 and six in the United States.1,3


Artificial insemination; HIV infections; HIV-positive persons; Sperm donors


Immune System Diseases | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Public Health | Women's Health


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