- Surgeons at Johns Hopkins University were approved to conduct HIV+ to HIV+ organ transplants for the first time ever in the U.S.
- When the surgeons find an acceptable donor and recipient, they will conduct the first kidney transplant in the country and the first liver transplant in the world between patients who are HIV+ at the institution's hospital in Maryland, NY Daily News reported.
- HIV+ organ donations were banned in the 1980s. The ban was lifted when President Obama signed the HIV Organ Policy Equality (HOPE) Act in 2013 and the NIH developed safeguards for the transplants for two years thereafter.
Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Dorry Segev estimated there would be up to 600 HIV-positive organ donors annually, which could save more than 1,000 lives.
“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," Segev said in a prepared statement. "For these individuals, this means a new chance at life."
According to the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, 121,442 people are waiting for a lifesaving transplant. An average of 22 people die every day waiting for a transplant.