Transfusing your own blood

In order to protect themselves against HIV infection, some people choose to have their own blood used in transfusions, a practice known as an autologous transfusion. 1 This practice is more common in the United States and some European countries than in the UK, and patients often say that it makes them worry less about the chance of HIV infection.

In fact, autologous transfusions are more important as a source of protection against other more common infections transmitted by transfusions which cause post-operative complications, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV). Such transfusions also reduce the stress placed on the immune system by a transfusion of foreign proteins, so they may benefit people with HIV too. An infusion of foreign blood proteins can activate the immune system and boost HIV replication and infection of new cells. Unfortunately, not all blood is suitable for autologous transfusion; some people may be too weak or anaemic to benefit from such transfusions.

References

  1. Vanderline ES Autologous transfusion. BMJ 324: 772-775, 2002
This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.
Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap
close

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.