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February 27, 1987

Semen Donors as the Source of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Artificially Inseminated Women: The Saga Unfolds

JAMA. 1987;257(8):1093-1094. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390080083038

Some things in life are not as straightforward as they used to be. With the latest medical technology, sexual intercourse is no longer a prerequisite for a woman to acquire a sexually transmitted disease. Artificial insemination must now be included as a possible source of these infections. In 1986 in the United States, an estimated 60 000 inseminations by donor semen were performed in women who conceived and were delivered of a child1 through this technique. Additionally, an unknown number of inseminations were performed in women who either did not conceive or did not carry their pregnancy to completion. No national data are available to estimate precisely the number of inseminations performed each year, the number of semen donors used, the number of practitioners using the procedure, or the risk of sexually transmitted diseases in the recipients.

The report of Berry et al,2 in this issue of The