News & Media > Eggs and sperm donation law is updated

Eggs and sperm donation law is updated

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Government policy has been updated to allow egg and sperm donation from people living with HIV to friends, family and other known partners who are not themselves HIV positive. This change to the law means that many people previously excluded from fertility treatment, particularly from the LGBTQ community, will now have the opportunity to become parents, with a known surrogate. In a further move towards equality in healthcare, additional screening costs for female same-sex couples undergoing reciprocal IVF will be removed.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act will be amended by statutory instrument to permit people with an undetectable viral load (defined as less than 200 copies/ml), who have been receiving antiretroviral treatment for at least six months prior to donation and where the known recipient is aware of their HIV diagnosis and provides informed consent to donate gametes. It is expected that this treatment will become available around three months after the change in the law. Guidance has also been included to support people with HIV who wish to parent and have been unable to achieve full viral suppression.

The update opens the possibility of parenthood to same-sex male couples where one or both have HIV and to female same-sex couples planning shared motherhood, as well as to others who are seeking donation from a friend or relative with HIV.

BHIVA Chair Professor Yvonne Gilleece said:

“BHIVA has worked hard, alongside BASHH and the National AIDS Trust, in a campaign lasting more than five years to remove this outdated injustice. The law did not take into account advances in science and treatment which mean that, in the vast majority of people living with HIV today, the virus is undetectable and therefore untransmissible. HIV cannot be passed on through gametes.

“The removal of unnecessary barriers to fertility treatment is another important step towards equality in healthcare for same sex couples where one or both have HIV and anyone living with HIV who wants to donate an egg or sperm to friends or family. We celebrate this change for those previously discriminated against who can now look forward to becoming parents in future years.”

For further information, please contact [email protected] or for media enquiries, please contact Jo Josh at [email protected] or +44 (0)7306 391875.

Editor’s notes:
1. DHSC release:
2. National AIDS Trust: