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Anemia & Blood Transfusion
Feb 18, 1998

The link to articles on Anemia includes "Transfusions May Pose Severe Problems for People With HIV/AIDS (1997)" from NAPWA. It is not clear how up-to-date this information is, and there are references to new information expected Real Soon Now.

Is this information still current, and is there anything new to add to it?


Response from Mr. Molaghan

Dear Chris

The study referred to in the NAPWA newsletter is the Viral Activation Transfusion Study (VATS). New information is expected soon, but soon in research time is frequently longer than many people expect. The enrollment period of the study was from July 1995 until June 1997. The duration of patient follow-up is through June 1998. The design of the study is to compare patients who receive transfusion with blood containing specially treated white blood cells to those who receive "unmanipulated" blood components. Because some previous studies have suggested that blood transfusion increases viral load and may also transmit CMV infection, it became clear that more data was needed to guide transfusion practice and create standards of care. A study published in February 1995 showed that HIV practitioners throughout the country share similar standards of care for transfusion. The goal of the VATS study is to yield data to guide rational transfusion policies as well as gain insight into the biologic consequences of transfusion of donor white blood cells and immune activation of HIV positive patients. Analysis of results is supposed to occur in late 1998 and be published in early 1999. One of my colleagues is an assistant investigator in this study. Ill try to get an update from him when he returns from vacation.

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