World-first HIV-positive heart transplant performed at Montefiore

The world's first heart transplant involving a donor and recipient who are both HIV-positive was performed at New York City-based Montefiore Health System's Bronx location.

The recipient was in her sixties and suffered from advanced heart failure, the health system said July 26 in an email shared with Becker's. She received the heart transplant and a simultaneous kidney transplant in early spring.

The milestone comes nearly 10 years after the passing of the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, the health system said. Montefiore is one of 25 centers in the U.S. eligible to perform the procedure.

"Making this option available to people living with HIV expands the pool of donors and means more people, with or without HIV, will have quicker access to a lifesaving organ," the patient's cardiologist Omar Saeed, MD, said in the news release. "To say we are proud of what this means for our patients and the medical community at large is an understatement."

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