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HIV blood banks

Feb 28, 2010

This may seem obvious to some but i'm wondering (apart from if they were to have an operation) why HIV'ers would want to store blood for future use? I read somewhere that blood stored while there is a high content of CD4 cells could be reintroduced to the doner at a later date when they have seen a drop in the numbers of healthy CD4 cells, therefore improving the immune system for a period. Is this correct? If so, how long can the blood be stored for before it is deemed unsafe? Also, can blood donated from a HIV negative sibling or relative be given to people with HIV and used to act in the same way? Thanks

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Good questions. Cells wouldn't survive very long at room temperature or in the refrigerator without long term freezing, which requires special handling and storage and is outside the normal capacity of blood banks. Even if possible, they wouldn't last long, unclear how much of their function would be retained and many would still be infected with HIV. Regarding siblings or family members, this would be very much like an organ transplant, where those cells would be rejected unless it were a perfect match or immunosuppressive drugs were given in order to combat rejection of foreign cells.

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