Amy is one of five babies that have now been conceived through Sperm Positive, the New Zealand-based world-first: an HIV positive sperm bank.
‘Amy’ is only ten months old, but already she has changed the world. She is the first baby to be born after her parents met via the world’s first HIV positive sperm bank, called Sperm Positive, which launched in New Zealand two years ago and made headlines around the globe.
Her story and that of seven other babies born to HIV positive parents are told in a brand-new book called The Baby Who Changed The World: how to make a baby while living with HIV, which is released today worldwide and translated into six different languages. The book was initiated by Positive Women Inc. and Body Positive and supported by the NZAF in order to share the stories of just some of the babies that have been born to parents living with HIV.
It is hoped the book will help to combat some of the stigma around HIV. A recent study revealed that 88% of New Zealanders would not be comfortable having a sexual relationship with someone who has HIV, and just 7% know that with effective treatment, HIV cannot be passed on to sexual partners. Meanwhile, a survey of New Zealanders living with HIV found that 75% had experienced stigma or discrimination related to their HIV positive, with 35% revealing they had experienced this in the past 12 months.
Since Sperm Positive was launched there have been five babies conceived. The World’s first HIV positive sperm bank has received enquiries from over 32 potential recipients and 27 potential donors so far.
Commenting on the launch, Mark Fisher of Body Positive says, “The aim of The Baby Who Changed The World: how to make a baby while living with HIV is not only to reduce the stigma around HIV but also to provide those living with HIV with hope. For many, the idea of having a baby is something that they may not have thought possible. But these stories prove that for a person living with HIV with a consistently undetectable viral load, it is perfectly possible to have the opportunity to create life and continue their genealogy without transmitting the virus to others.”
Jane Bruning from Positive Women Inc. says, “We launched Sperm Positive two years ago and have been overwhelmed by the number of enquiries we have received from people keen to receive more information so they can make informed choices. There are still misconceptions amongst New Zealanders that people living with HIV are highly contagious and pose a risk to others simply through casual contact. The science speaks for itself, there is now undeniable evidence that if a person with HIV has an undetectable viral load, they cannot transmit HIV.”
Anyone interested in learning more can visit www.spermpositive.com.