First HIV+ Donor To HIV+ Patient Transplants

Big news for HIV+ patients who are in need of an organ transplant.

Surgeons at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center have successfully performed both liver and kidney transplants from an HIV+ donor to HIV+ patients.

From the Los Angeles Times:

In a first that gives HIV-infected patients yet another chance for long lives, surgeons at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center have transplanted a kidney and a liver from a dead donor who was HIV-positive into two HIV-positive recipients.

The transplant surgeries, which used organs donated by the family of an HIV-positive woman, ended a 25-year stretch in which the organs of HIV-infected people willing to donate them were rejected for use in transplants.

The experimental procedure follows the 2013 enactment of the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, or HOPE, which repealed the ban on using such organs for transplantation.

“This is an unbelievably exciting day for our hospital and our team, but more importantly for patients living with both HIV and end-stage organ disease,” said Dr. Dorry L. Segev, the Johns Hopkins surgeon who performed the surgeries.

There are over 120,000 patients on the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network’s waiting list. On average, 22 patients die every day while awaiting an available organ.

You can watch a Reuters report here.