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Immune System Transfer?
Jun 19, 2004

I don't want to come across as an idiot. I'm going to ask anyway-is there such a thing as taking a Pos/Neg couple and using the Negative partners immune system to somehow help the Positive partners overall health? The reason I ask about a couple is because I am in that situation with my Pos Partner and I am willing to do ANYTHING to help him in ANY way possible to get him well or as close to it as possible. He is everything to me and I would be willing to subject myself to any kind of study/experiment that could possibly benefit him and also help others someday. I just feel there should be a way to take my healthy immune system and transfer some of it to him and help fight this disease in his body.

Response from Dr. Pierone

Hello and there are no bad questions, so don't worry. The idea of transferring immune cells to help people with HIV infection has been tried with a variety of methods over the years. Most of the attempts were in the desperate era before HAART and were unsuccessful because of tissue rejection.

Nowadays, immune cells transfer is generally not a pressing need since immune recovery comes along with response to HAART. So in your situation, there is no need to donate bone marrow. Rather, find out what your partners numbers are (viral load and CD4 count). If the viral load is high and/or CD4 count is low, treatment with antiretroviral medications is warranted. If treatment is indicated, then excellent adherence to the regimen is the best way to preserve health. Good luck!



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