What is the HART Program?

HART, or HIV Assisted Reproductive Technologies, is a program that offers HIV+ men the possibility of using their own sperm for the egg donation and/or surrogacy process. It is also available to clients with other viral infections including hepatitis.

The program was first offered in 2006. Since that time more than 60 babies have been born through the HART program. In the more than 4,000 births of children born to an HIV+ parent, there have been no babies or gestational surrogates that have tested positive for HIV as a result of the surrogacy.

Prior to collecting the sperm, and immediately before the donation occurs, used to create an embryo, HIV+ men must have had at least six months of an undetectable viral load (<48) and be on a stable medication regimen which has not been changed during that time period.

Once the sperm donation has been collected it is medically washed as an additional safeguard before being used to create the embryo. Due to the medical “cocktail” of drugs that most HIV+ patients take, as well as the undetectable viral load, most medical professionals agree that even without this final safeguard, the chances of an HIV infection occurring are incredibly rare.

The entire process of banking sperm for use in egg donation and/or surrogacy can be completed within 1-3 months depending on the patient’s viral load count. Growing Generations will be with you every step of the way during this time, always available to answer any questions you come across during your journey. Surrogates who choose to enter into this program come of their own choice and are aware of any additional tests she may need to take along the way as a precaution.

The HART program does the one thing that Growing Generations does best- it grows families. HART opens door to parenting that many patients believed had been closed permanently due to viral infections. HART offers new hope for a future family to these clients.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 22 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for the last two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the American Fertility Association, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 28 years and their two teenage daughters.