The advent of HIV and the serious nature of the sequelae resulted in a major reassessment of artificial insemination practices in the UK. The development of human semen cryopreservation had enormous impact on reproductive medicine and the availability of cryopreserved quarantined donor semen became a mainstay for the treatment of male infertility in the UK. The regulation and accreditation of assisted reproductive technologies and the introduction of peer-reviewed guidelines have largely standardized clinical and laboratory practice. The introduction of assisted fertilization techniques such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection, testicular sperm retrieval and improved oncology treatments have placed pressure on reproductive biologists and cryobiologists to design and use cryopreservation protocols for the optimum survival of sperm. © 2002, Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted. All rights reserved.