NPR, June 1, 2018
Emily Forman

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A large-scale clinical trial launched by the National Institutes of Health in May could pave the way for more HIV-positive patients with kidney disease to receive life-saving transplants.

The trial, called the HOPE in Action Multicenter Kidney Study, will assess the risks of transplanting kidneys from HIV-positive donors into patients living with the virus, says Dr. Christine Durand, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University and a principal investigator of the study.

"We have an organ shortage crisis in this country and individuals living with HIV are disproportionately affected," she says. The research will help determine whether the pool of HIV-infected organs is "safe and effective." If so, she says, it would benefit everyone awaiting kidneys.

"Everytime someone with HIV gets an organ transplant they move everybody else up on the waitlist," says Durand.

There are 468,000 Americans receiving dialysis for end-stage renal disease. According to Durand's research, an estimated 1.5 percent of those live with HIV. About 1 percent of liver transplant candidates have HIV.

"This means that more than 10,000 HIV positive individuals could benefit from a kidney or liver transplant," says Durand. [...]

bioethics hivaids human tissue infectious diseases medical safety research