Fertility clinics give hope to childless HIV patients

2011-05-21 15:57

A visit to his doctor delivered devastating news that would change Paul Khuse’s* life.

He had tested HIV-positive.Khuse shuddered at the thought that he would have to break the news to his partner, whom he had cheated on.

“I knew that I had to tell her because we were planning to have a baby and I felt that it was important that she went to be tested as well,” he said.

The results came back negative for Khuse’s partner, but the news of his HIV status created a ­dilemma for the couple because they still wanted to have a baby.

“I did not want to put her life at risk so we decided to Google information that would help us decide what steps we needed to take to ensure that my partner would not get infected,” said Khuse.

Two clinics – Vitalab in Johannesburg and the Cape Fertility Clinic in Cape Town – could help them ­become parents without compromising the health of mother and child.

Two weeks ago, Khuse and his partner became proud parents of an HIV-negative baby girl.

The procedure is gaining momemtum. Dr Klaus Wiswedel of the Cape Fertility Clinic said they have performed about 200 conceptions in the last five years and now do about about five to 10 per month.

“The tendency is increasing, with a lot of referrals from other parts of Africa too,” he said.

Dr Lawrence Gobetz of the Vitalab clinic says they are overseeing 12 pregnancies and see three to five new HIV-positive patients a month.

This is since Gobetz and his team of specialists set up the ­clinic’s blood-borne viral disease intracytoplasmic sperm injection laboratory last year.

Gobetz says the first step is antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. “It is very important the ­person undergoing treatment has a good CD4 count.

They must be on ARVs so they have a zero viral load in the ejaculate,” he said.

A detailed evaluation of both partners is undertaken prior to the procedure in case the parents are no longer able to care for the ­baby as a result of their illness.However, the treatment does not come cheap.

The cost varies from R6 000 to R40 000 But for Khuse and his partner, the expense was worth it.

“It was expensive, but we wanted this for so long and finally we have a healthy baby,” he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.