Restricting access of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive patients to infertility services: a legal analysis of the rights of reproductive endocrinologists and of HIV-seropositive patients

John Y. Phelps

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To discuss the legal rights of reproductive endocrinologists and HIV-seropositive patients seeking infertility services. Design: Westlaw and LexisNexis commercial legal search engines were used to perform a legal review of statutes and cases pertaining to HIV-seropositive patients seeking health care services. Conclusion(s): Human immunodeficiency virus antidiscrimination laws apply to healthcare providers whether they practice in private clinics or a university setting. Patients infected with HIV cannot be denied access to health services solely on the basis of their HIV status. If proof exists that HIV-seropositive patients will medically benefit by a referral to another provider with more expertise, it is legally permissible to refer these patients to another provider who has more expertise in providing infertility services to HIV-seropositive patients. However, the burden will be on the reproductive endocrinologist to demonstrate that he or she lacks the capability to care for HIV-seropositive patients and that the referral was for the medical benefit of the patient and of the patient's potential offspring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1483-1490
Number of pages8
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007



  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • IVF
  • discrimination
  • infertility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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