HIV-Positive Parenting | SPAR and Surrogacy

HIV-Positive Parenting: What is SPAR?


Living with HIV doesn’t prevent you from having a child safely through surrogacy. The Special Program of Assisted Reproduction (SPAR) has allowed hundreds of HIV+ men to build their families through surrogacy. Circle Surrogacy is proud to have assisted many couples and 

individuals through this program since 2009.


SPAR is offered in conjunction with the Bedford Research Foundation Clinical Laboratory, which has helped bring over 178 babies into the world safely through the program with no transmission of the virus. Dr. Ann Kiessling’s innovative program combines semen testing and sperm washing for safe fertility procedures.

How does the process work?

There are 4 stages involved in SPAR:

  1. Consultations with intended parent(s) and surrogate
  2. Collection of specimens, following FDA protocol
  3. Semen tested for presence of virus using the PCR HIV DNA assay. Depending on outcome, it is then “washed” using a centrifuge to separate the sperm from the seminal fluid. Washed sperm are suspended in a new solution and cryopreserved. Read more about the science here.
  4. Specimen is shipped to a participating IVF clinic for fertilization and embryo transfer.

How does Circle find surrogates for the program?

Every surrogate who applies to become a surrogate through Circle is given information about SPAR. Women who express interest in the program are given the opportunity to speak with an experienced surrogate who has participated. All surrogates who join the program will have an individual consultation with Dr. Kiessling to learn about the program in greater detail.

Are there additional costs for SPAR?

Circle does not charge any additional fees for joining SPAR. However, there are fees associated with the semen testing and sperm washing procedures. You can find more information about the additional medical costs here.

How do I get started?

The surrogacy process, whether you participate in SPAR or not, begins with an initial consultation with our team—either by Skype or in person. We’ll cover our program offerings and overview, legal issues, financial aspects, insurance, and provide more information about SPAR. If you’re ready to book a free consultation, let us know!