BioethicsFri Sep 2, 2011 - 3:18 pm EST
Valuable advice: don’t buy ‘fresh’ semen on the Internet says Health Canada
OTTAWA, September 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - If you’ve been shopping around online and think you’ve found the semen of your dreams, you might want to think again before you click that “checkout” button, according to Health Canada. The health agency has warned would-be parents not to purchase fresh semen online, saying it may be tainted with infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or C, syphilis, Chlamydia, or gonorrhea.
“Health Canada is reminding Canadians of the serious potential health risks of using donor semen for assisted conception obtained through potentially unreliable sources, such as the Internet,” the government agency said in a communiqué issued August 29th.
“Donor semen obtained through questionable means, such as through transactions arranged via the Internet, may not have been appropriately screened and tested, and therefore may not be safe,” we are told.
Furthermore, Health Canada says, “Canadians should be cautious of websites advertising the availability of semen, such as ‘fresh’ semen that has not been processed and cryopreserved (frozen), with claims that the semen donors have been properly screened and tested, as such claims may not be true.”
The bulletin explains that Canada has strict controls for obtaining donor semen to minimize the potential risk of transmitting infectious diseases.
The regulations require that donor semen must be quarantined for a minimum of six months, and donors must be screened and tested before the donation and six months after.
There are more regulations that apply to the importation, processing and distribution of donor semen, and Health Canada says that it “maintains a list of semen processors and importers that are subject to regular inspections.”
Prompted by media reports of the availability of online semen, this is the second time the government agency has warned Canadians about the dangers of such purchases on the Internet.
However, Health Canada spokesman Gary Holub told Agence France Presse that the warnings were not triggered by any reports of actual infections. “We’re just being diligent,” Holub said.
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