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November 10, 1993

HIV-Infected Patients Participating in Autologous Blood Programs

JAMA. 1993;270(18):2181. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510180051029

To the Editor.  —The recent article by Mintz1 makes some interesting and valid points about the issues surrounding the collection of autologous blood from persons who are infected with blood-borne pathogens such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The points that he raised could easily be extended to individuals who are infected with hepatitis B, because many autologous programs do not collect blood from such individuals. The problem, however, with Mintz's article is that it focuses on the wrong transfusion issues for HIVinfected persons.Because of anemia many HIV-infected persons would not meet the hemoglobin standards for autologous donation and would be disqualified on that criterion alone. Second, 40% to 60% of autologous donations are never transfused to the originally intended recipient.2 The reason is that most autologous units are collected prior to surgical procedures or for conditions that do not routinely require blood transfusion (eg, cholecystectomy, hysterectomy,