In an attempt to break down the walls surrounding people living with HIVAIDS, New Zealand has launched world's first sperm bank for HIV-positive donors. So far, the website have three men have come forward for donation, all of whom have an undetectable viral load. According to reports by Radio New Zealand, the have a “consistently undetectable viral load” which means virus levels in their blood are so low that HIV cannot be transmitted through sex or childbirth.
“There is no evidence that individuals who have successfully achieved and maintained viral suppression through ART transmit the virus sexually to their HIV-negative partner(s),” states the World Health Organization (WHO).
One of the donors, Damien Rule-Neal told The Guardian that he was diagnosed with the virus in 1999 but ever since the anti-retroviral treatment the virus has been undetectable.
"We've got the science behind it to say that medication makes you untransmittable," he said. "I've seen a lot of my female friends that have HIV go on to have children, it shows that science and medication have given us that ability back."
“Being able to help others on their journey is so rewarding, but I also want to show the world that life doesn’t just stop post-diagnosis and help to remove the stigma,” he said.
Body Positive, the New Zealand Aids Foundation and Positive Women Inc hope the project will educate the public about transmission of HIV, and reduce stigma for those who have the illness and those without it.
The sperm bank also adds that all donors will be HIV positive but on successful treatment that prevents them passing on the virus.