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First ever organ transplant between HIV positive patients performed at Israeli hospital

By Mason White 11:32 AM August 16, 2013
Operating room illustration 

By: Eva Fett
After a recent overhaul of Israeli health laws, the first ever organ transplant between HIV positive patients was performed at an Israeli hospital, according to hospital officials.

The transplant was carried out at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. A woman carrying the virus successfully donated a kidney to her husband, who is also HIV positive.

The transplant, the first of its kind in the world, was performed by a team composed of transplant experts and doctors, who specialize in treating AIDS patients. This is the first time that a living HIV patient donated an organ. In the past, organs were only taken from dead or brain-dead people.

The process was considered to be complex and required great preparation because doctors had to make adjustments of the HIV drug therapies in order to avoid conflicts with the medications given to transplant patients. The main concern was that the transplant treatments would interfere with the HIV treatments and the body will not be able to accept the new organ.

The two continue regular treatment against the HIV virus and doctors monitoring both kidneys.
Dr. Yevgeny Katzman, a specialist in infectious diseases at the AIDS Center, said: “There is no doubt that this case gives new hope in the field of HIV medicine and HIV transplants.”