Johns Hopkins performs world's first HIV-positive to HIV-positive liver transplant

Surgeons at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore have performed the world's first HIV-positive to HIV-positive liver transplant and the United States' first HIV-positive to HIV-positive kidney transplant.

Previously, U.S. law had prohibited HIV-positive organ donation. That changed in 2013, when President Barack Obama signed the HIV Organ Policy Equity, or HOPE, Act, allowing HIV-positive people to donate organs. Then, in February of this year, Johns Hopkins Medicine became the first hospital in the U.S. to receive approval from the United Network for Organ Sharing to perform HIV-positive to HIV-positive transplants.

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Now, Johns Hopkins surgical teams performed HIV-positive to HIV-positive organ transplants, involving donations from deceased donors. According to Christine Durand, MD, an infectious disease specialist at the hospital, the patients who received the transplants are "doing extremely well."

"We are encouraged by these first successful transplants and now it's our hope and our aim to extend this possibility for other patients who are waiting on the list," Dr. Durand said during a press conference.

Johns Hopkins is also putting together training for other hospitals in the U.S. on how to perform safe, effective HIV-positive to HIV-positive transplants. Additionally, researchers there are looking into how to perform such transplants with a living, HIV-positive donor.

More articles on organ transplants:
Can Zika infiltrate US blood supply? 5 things to know
New kidney transplant procedure allows kidney from any donor
Wasted livers: 8 points on why many donated organs unused

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