Emory enrolling subjects in historic study on HIV-positive organ donation

THE GEORGIA VOICE | Patrick Saunders

In March of this year, Johns Hopkins Hospital became the first hospital in the United States to transplant the organs of an HIV-positive donor into HIV-positive recipients. The liver and kidney transplants saved the lives of two people.

“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. For these individuals, this could mean a new chance at life,” said Dorry L. Segev, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in a statement.

The surgery was the result of the striking down of a 25-year-old law prohibiting HIV-positive organs from being used for transplant. Those two recipients of the organs are part of a study with 30 patients expected to be enrolled at six medical centers nationwide, with five of those HIV-positive patients to come from Atlanta, where they and the doctors at Emory University will take part in this new step in medical history.

And the development will not only help HIV-positive people on the waiting list for organs, but also the HIV-negative ones on the list who will then move up in priority once the HIV-positive ones get the transplants they need. Continue reading
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