NDRI HIV Tissue Procurement Program

Human tissues from both infected and uninfected individuals are needed to continue the vital work to discover new therapies for HIV/AIDS and minimize the impact of adverse side effects.

NDRI receives funding through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the NIH to procure organs and tissues from HIV-positive donors for the research community.

The HIV Program has established a nationwide network of organizations to identify and refer HIV-positive organ and tissue donors to NDRI.

Additionally NDRI acquires HIV-infected tissue from:

  • Hospital pathology departments that receive surgical specimens from HIV-positive donors.
  • Transplant centers that obtain explanted organs and associated tissues from HIV-positive transplant recipients.

NDRI also works with infectious disease specialists to inform them about this unique opportunity for their patients. NDRI provides brochures and information for physicians to share with their patients, encouraging them to consent to tissue donation for HIV research.

Tissue Donors

If you are HIV-positive and are interested in tissue donation for research, NDRI can provide you with all the necessary information to make your wish a reality. This will include a consent form, a medical history questionnaire, and an explanation of the procedure. The most important aspect in donation is discussing your wishes with your family and friends.

NDRI works with researchers who require tissues from HIV-positive individuals having a biopsy or other surgery. If you have a surgery scheduled, please contact us to discuss your options for donation.

Experienced coordinators are available around the clock to respond to confidential inquiries from HIV-positive patients or their families. Coordinators will speak directly with care providers about options for organ and tissue donation and coordinate the tissue recovery. NDRI recognizes that these conversations often occur at a particularly difficult time and will arrange for donation to be accomplished in a timely way that maximizes the value of the donation and respect for the donor. Following donation, both the family and the care provider will be informed about the research supported by their gift.

Do you provide a donor card for the HIV Program?
NDRI does not provide donor cards. If you are listed as an organ donor on your driver’s license, you may wish to notify your family of your intent to donate for HIV research. Sharing your wishes with your family or health care surrogate is essential to ensure timely donation. Most donations must occur within the first 24 hours after death for the tissues to be used for medical research. Contacting NDRI as soon as possible will ensure that your generous donation has its maximum benefit to HIV research.

Is there any compensation given to my family for my donation?
NDRI does not provide any monetary compensation. We do not pay for funeral services or for cremation.

Will my religion support organ and tissue donation?
As is the case with donation for transplant, many faiths openly encourage donation for research, seeing this as a final act of giving and as an expression of hope.

Will the body be suitable for viewing and/or available for a timely funeral after donation?
Yes. You may specify unlimited or limited donation. A limited donation allows for a normal, timely funeral service. A traditional, open-casket funeral service can still take place even though organs and tissues have been donated. Highly skilled professionals perform the surgical recovery of the tissues and the donor’s appearance remains unchanged. Unlimited donations are usually offered when a cremation is desired.


NDRI is very grateful to all physicians and surgeons who advocate research tissue donation to their patients. NDRI supplies physicians with information about donation to share with their patients. Please contact NDRI for more information.

HIV/AIDS Researchers

NDRI can provide most human organs and tissues from HIV-positive donors for your research project. We can also supply a wide variety of normal tissues for control purposes. We procure tissue samples exactly as you specify and offer a number of preservation and shipping options. Tissues are most frequently procured post-mortem and include samples shipped at 4ºC immediately after procurement, as well as snap-frozen, fixed and paraffin and OCT-embedded materials.

To receive tissues from NDRI, please complete a Feasibility Application. NDRI reviews all applications to ensure that each research study represents a reasonable use of human tissue. NDRI will work directly with you to develop a customized protocol to supply you with the tissues you need.

NDRI provides you with de-identified relevant medical history for each donor. Specifically, we focus on HIV-related treatments and testing, including recent CD4 counts, viral load, length of infection, anti-HIV medications, and co-infections (HBV, HCV, TB, etc.).

If you have tissue specimens from HIV-positive donors that you no longer need for your research project and you would like to share them with the scientific community, please let us know. NDRI will work to place your unused specimens so that they may benefit HIV research.

For further information please contact or call 1-800-222-6374.




View our recent Private Donor Program webinar presentation:

Accelerating Biomedical Research via Private Donation



NDRI provides a unique service to investigators all over the world and has become indispensable to many research projects. Its spectacular success exceeds even our most optimistic expectations and is a tribute to the foresight, drive and vision of Lee Ducat its founder.

Arthur Rubenstein, M.B.B.Ch.

For more information about NDRI's Private Donor Program

An NDRI coordinator can be contacted 24/7 at 800-222-NDRI (6374) you can also e-mail us at

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