Semen analysis in HIV seropositive men and in subjects at high risk for HIV infection

Franco Dondero, Tiziana Rossi, Giampiero D'Offizi, Fernando Mazzilli, Rosamaria Rosso, Nadia Sarandrea, Elena Pinter, Fernando Aiuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The main purpose of this research was (i) to perform a comparative study of sperm parameters in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositive and high risk subjects in order to identify any possible alterations in the semen which specifically result from HIV infection and (ii) to study the p24 antigen as an early diagnostic marker of infection in high risk subjects. HIV seropositive subjects showed no significant variations regarding sperm densities, motility and viscosity compared to high risk subjects and controls. On the other hand, these HIV seropositive subjects showed (a) a significantly higher percentage of cytoplasmic droplet forms and immature germ cells, perhaps caused by an early failure of epididymal function and/or by a condition of stress affecting spermatogenesis after HIV infection and (b) a significantly higher level of spermiophage cells, suggesting that HIV activates mechanisms that increase spermiophagy. In addition, HIV seropositive men showed a significant positive correlation between blood CD4+ and sperm motility as well as a significant inverse correlation between CD4+ and sperm abnormalities. This is perhaps due to a decrease in testosteronaemia leading to defective epididymal sperm maturation. To date, p24 has not been found in the serum or seminal plasma of high risk subjects. The longitudinal study in progress should provide further information on this point.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-768
Number of pages4
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996


  • HIV
  • Human semen
  • p24 antigen
  • Spermiophagy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine

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    Dondero, F., Rossi, T., D'Offizi, G., Mazzilli, F., Rosso, R., Sarandrea, N., Pinter, E., & Aiuti, F. (1996). Semen analysis in HIV seropositive men and in subjects at high risk for HIV infection. Human Reproduction, 11(4), 765-768.