Medicine

US begins organ transplants from living donors who have HIV

US begins organ transplants from living donors who have HIV

"Some people believe that people living with HIV are sick, or look unwell", said Martinez, who works to eliminate the stigma surrounding HIV.

She was inspired to donate her kidney by an episode of "Grey's Anatomy", she said, adding that she was excited to be part of a medical first.

The recipient, who has not been identified, is doing "beautifully", said Dr Christine Durand, associate professor of medicine and oncology at Johns Hopkins. The recipient is expected to be discharged from the hospital in the next couple of days.

Johns Hopkins surgeon Dr. Dorry Segev hailed the procedure as "unbelievably exciting" for HIV patients whose kidneys are in danger of shutting down. The operation was performed by Niraj Desai, an assistant professor of surgery at Hopkins. In only the second case of its kind, a United Kingdom patient's HIV became "undetectable" after a stem cell transplant earlier this month.

"It's important to people who aren't HIV-positive because every time somebody else gets a transplant and gets an organ and gets off the list, your chances get just a little bit better", said Dr. Sander Florman, director of the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute at Mount Sinai in NY. That's because HIV-positive people can receive transplants for HIV-negative people just like any other patient.

THURSDAY, March 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) - Surgeons in Baltimore have performed the world's first kidney transplant in which both the living donor and the recipient are HIV-positive.

On Monday, she traveled from her home in Atlanta to Johns Hopkins University for the operation.

People with HIV were historically discouraged from donating a kidney due to the concern their remaining kidney would be damaged by HIV or the medications used to treat it.

"Organ transplantation is critical for patients with HIV, who die on the waiting list even faster than their HIV-negative counterparts", Segev said.

'There are potentially tens of thousands of people living with HIV right now who could be living kidney donors, ' said Segev, who has advised some other hospitals considering the approach.

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People living with HIV haven't been able to donate kidneys until now, because there were worries that HIV was too much of a risk factor for kidney disease in the donor.

"It gives me great joy to know that I " m putting a story like this out there", she said. "That helps everybody on the list". Because they may have different strains of the virus and different resistance to HIV medication, doctors must monitor the recipient closely in the months after the donor organ is introduced.

"I hope that across the country transplant centers will have the same experience", he said.

Approximately 113,000 people are on a waiting list for an organ, according to UNOS statistics.

The premiere imperfect success in heart transplantation was achieved on 3 December 1967 when Christiaan Bernard of Cape Town, South Africa carried out world's premier human to human heart transplant.

Martinez, a public health consultant and longtime clinical research volunteer, became interested in living donation even before HIV-to-HIV transplants began.

In July 2018, Martinez read on Facebook that a friend who also happened to have HIV needed a kidney transplant.

"I knew that I was the one that they had been waiting for", the HIV patient noted.

But after research on more than 40,000 people living with HIV, a team with Hopkins Medicine found that anti-retro-viral drugs are safe for the kidney, and those with well controlled HIV are healthy enough to donate. HIV was no longer a legal barrier to organ donation, and I never considered HIV to be a medical barrier either.