Although sickle cell anemia was the first hereditary disease to be understood at the molecular level, there is still no adequate long-term treatment. Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation is the only available cure, but this procedure is limited to a minority of patients with an available, histocompatible donor. Autologous transplantation of bone marrow stem cells that are transduced with a stably expressed, antisickling globin gene would benefit a majority of patients with sickle cell disease. Therefore, the development of a gene therapy protocol that corrects the disease in an animal model and is directly translatable to human patients is critical. A method is described in which unmobilized, highly purified bone marrow stem cells are transduced with a minimum amount of self-inactivating (SIN) lentiviral vector containing a potent anti-sickling β-globin gene. These cells, which were transduced in the absence of cytokine stimulation, fully reconstitute irradiated recipients and correct the hemolytic anemia and organ pathology that characterize the disease in humans. The mean increase of hemoglobin concentration was 46 g/L (4.6 g/dL) and the average lentiviral copy number was 2.2; therefore, a 21-g/L/vector copy increase (2.1-g/dL) was achieved. This transduction protocol may be directly translatable to patients with sickle cell disease who cannot tolerate current bone marrow mobilization procedures and may not safely be exposed to large viral loads. © 2003 by The American Society of Hematology.