New Study Will Probe Safety of HIV-to-HIV Kidney Transplants

MD MAGAZINE | Jared Kaltwasser
Dorry Segev, MD, PhD

A new study may pave the way for HIV-positive patients to receive organ transplants.

The National Institutes of Health this month announced the launch of the HOPE in Action Multicenter Kidney Study to research the safety of kidney transplantation from HIV-positive donors to HIV-positive recipients.

“This trial is the culmination of almost a decade of work, and we are thrilled to see it supported by the NIH,” said Dorry Segev, MD, PhD, co-principal investigator on the study. “When we were first interested in doing HIV-to-HIV transplants, it was illegal: banned by congressional law.”

Segev, a transplant surgeon and a professor of surgery and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, told MD Magazine that he and colleagues completed the research necessary to prove HIV-to-HIV transplantation had positive potential, and then launched a public awareness campaign to get Congress to change the law. That change happened with the passage of the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act in 2013. The first kidney and liver transplants were completed in 2016. Segev said the design of this study took several years. Continue reading