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First Ever HIV-Positive Organ Transplants To Be Carried Out By John Hopkins

Update Date: Feb 15, 2016 02:17 AM EST

John Hopkins has just received a green signal from the country's organ-sharing authority to carry out America's first ever organ transplant operations between HIV-positives.

In an official press release, the hospital will perform the world's first liver transplant between an HIV-positive donor and recipient as soon as the organ and recipient have been identified and assessed.

"This is an unbelievably exciting day for our hospital and our team, but more importantly for patients living with HIV and end-stage organ disease. For these individuals, this means a new chance at life," remarked associate professor of surgery Dorry L. Segev of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as quoted saying by The Washington Post.

Organ procurement for transplant involve complex procedures in the United States which drove some people to illegally seek replacement organs elsewhere outside the country. Also, previous rules barred doctors from transplanting HIV-positive organs to HIV-infected patients. But when congress enacted HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (or HOPE Act) of 2013, such transplants have now become possible.

With the new law, Segev thinks that around 1, 000 people would have an extended life as a result of organ donations from 500 to 600 HIV positive donors according to an ABC News report.

"...There are not enough organ donors in the United States to meet the needs of all of the patients who might benefit from life-saving organ transplants. Some of the patients waiting for organs are infected with HIV but never make it to transplant because they either die while waiting or become too sick to be transplanted," said Prof. Emily Blumberg of the University of Pennsylvania as mentioned in a CNN report.

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