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Fertility Law Changes to Benefit the LGBTQ+ Community and People Living with HIV

Ministers in England and Wales have recently announced significant changes to fertility laws, which are being celebrated as a major victory for both the LGBTQ+ community and individuals living with HIV. These changes are expected to assist thousands of people and couples on their journey to parenthood. Let’s delve into the details:

Equal Access for Same-Sex Couples

Currently, female same-sex couples who wish to conceive through reciprocal IVF must undergo costly screening for specific infectious diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or rubella. Surprisingly, heterosexual couples are not required to undergo this screening.

The good news is that same-sex female couples will no longer be required to undergo this screening when accessing IVF, and these screening costs will no longer be required. This change helps ensure equal rights for female same-sex couples and support those planning shared motherhood—where one woman provides the egg to be fertilised, and the other carries the baby.

Access for those living with HIV

Under the existing rules, only a man with non-transmissible HIV can donate sperm to his female partner.

However, the new regime allows same-sex couples with undetectable HIV (which means that the viral load is too low for transmission – otherwise known as ‘non-transmissible HIV) to access IVF treatment. This is expected to benefit male same-sex couples who may be living with HIV and want to have children via surrogacy.

Additionally, people with non-transmissible HIV can now donate their sperm or eggs to others who are aware of their HIV status. This change will help facilitate donation of gametes from friends or family who have non-transmissible HIV.


These adjustments represent a positive step toward ensuring equal access to fertility treatment. While the exact timeline for implementing these changes remains unclear, Ministers have expressed their commitment to making them as soon as possible.

If you’re considering fertility treatments, it’s essential to seek legal advice regarding legal parenthood and parental responsibility. For further information, feel free to contact IM’s fertility law team.