BOSTON — In this video, Christine M. Durand, MD, a transplant infectious diseases specialist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, discusses the potential of using organs from donors with HIV or hepatitis C virus infection to address an “organ shortage crisis” in the United States.
Durand says HIV-positive to HIV-positive organ transplants can now be performed under the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act of 2013. A team at Johns Hopkins Medicine was the first to successfully perform such a transplant in the U.S. in March 2016. Since then, more than 45 HIV-positive to HIV-positive transplants have been performed in the country, Durand says.
In addition, surgeons at Johns Hopkins have also performed organ transplants involving HCV-positive donors and HCV-negative recipients who are given direct-acting antivirals for both pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis. In a small study of 10 HCV-positive to HCV-negative transplants, Durand reported that all recipients were free of HCV 1-year post-surgery.
“We hope that this represents another potential way to expand the organ donor pool for individuals in need of live-saving transplants,” she says. “I hope that everyone will consider registering as an organ donor and remember that having a health condition such as HIV or HCV does not prevent you from being an organ donor.”
Durand C, et al. Abstract 166. Presented at: Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections; March 4-7, 2018; Boston.
Disclosure: Durand reports a relationship with Gilead Sciences, being a consultant for Merck, and receiving research grants from GlaxoSmithKline and Merck.