Johns Hopkins To Perform First Organ Transplant Between Two HIV Patients

Posted: Feb 11 2016, 8:55am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Johns Hopkins to Perform First Organ Transplant between Two HIV Patients

The Johns Hopkins Hospital has been billed to perform organ transplants between one HIV patient and another – the first of its kind in the United States, and a welcome development among HIV/AIDS patients who require urgent organ transplants to save lives - Reuters reports.

US President Barack Obama reportedly signed the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act which made it possible for one HIV-positive patient to receive organ transplants from another HIV-positive individual in 2013. The Johns Hopkins Hospital prepared by putting safety measures in place over a 2-year period.

"This is an unbelievably exciting day for our hospital and our team, but more importantly for patients living with HIV and end-stage organ disease. For these individuals, this means a new chance at life," said Dr. Dorry Sergev, associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Dr. Sergev expressed delight at the chances of conducting organ transplants between one HIV-positive patient and the other, saying it will prevent the near 500 potential donor organs from HIV patients which get wasted every year.

Having gotten the necessary approvals, Johns Hopkins will become the first hospital in the US and globally to perform a kidney transplant and another liver transplant between HIV-positive patients. This would not have been possible prior to 2013 since the ban on HIV-positive organs was imposed in 1988.

"Nobody would consider transplanting an H.I.V.-positive recipient because everyone knew their life span was short," said Dr. David Klassen, chief medical officer for the United Network for Organ Sharing. "The notion that H.I.V.-positive recipients could be transplanted arose as a result of their extended life spans."

Since HIV patients have higher mortality rate than healthy people, the ability to receive donor organs from HIV-positive persons will now be a new lease of life to patients who otherwise had no choice.

"Organ transplantation is actually even more important for patients with HIV, since they die on the waiting list even faster than their HIV-negative counterparts," said Sergev. "We are very thankful to Congress, Obama, and the entire transplant community for letting us use organs from HIV-positive patients to save lives, instead of throwing them away, as we had to do for so many years."

Apart from the fact that HIV patients will now be able to access organs from other patient-donors, dying patients will now be able to donate their organs upon death to other HIV-positive patients on a waiting list.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.




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