Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

HIV & AIDS Health Center

Font Size

Sperm Washed Free of HIV


In the U.S., Semprini's group has worked with Deborah Jean Anderson's team at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, which first raised the question of whether sperm could carry HIV. Anderson colleague Alison Jane Quayle, PhD, tells WebMD that she advocates the procedure for HIV-discordant couples -- in which the man has HIV but the woman doesn't -- who very much want to have children.

"I would say go ahead," Quayle says. "I have talked to discordant couples who are desperate to have children, and you can't say 'no' to everything. You have to give them something that is practical. If I know they are going to go out and have unsafe sex, it would be a very good idea to offer them sperm washing."

The assisted-pregnancy procedure is now available to some in England, France, and Spain. It soon will be available in Switzerland -- but not in the U.S. because of concerns that HIV could theoretically escape attempts to flush it away.

"In science, you can never say 'never' -- sometimes a bit of HIV might stick to the sperm, but we have never seen it," Quayle says. "In culture work, molecular work, and microscopy, we have not been able to find an association between HIV and sperm."

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

How much do you know?
contemplative man
What to do now.
Should you be tested?
HIV under microscope
What does it mean?
HIV AIDS Screening
man opening condom wrapper
HIV AIDS Treatment
Discrimination Stigma
Treatment Side Effects
grilled chicken and vegetables
obese man standing on scale
cold sore