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Monday, October 24, 2016

Organ transplants for HIV-positive people officially approved in the United States

Organ transplants for HIV-positive people officially approved in the United States

by: Harold Shaw
HIV-positive, organ donation, transplants

(DrEddyClinic News) Three years after the U.S. Senate passed the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act, Johns Hopkins has finally been given the green light to perform organ transplants on HIV positive patients The hospital will go down in history as the first American institution to perform an HIV-positive kidney transplant, as well as the first ever medical institution to attempt an HIV-positive liver transplant. Dorry Segev, associate professor of medicine with Johns Hopkins, has hailed this as a "new chance at life" for individuals with end-stage organ disease.


The researcher points out that the HOPE Act is a long-awaited change, particularly since HIV-positive individuals die on the waiting list for transplants at a significantly higher rate than HIV-negative patients.

An international issue

Without a doubt, there is a worldwide organ shortage, and in this international context, the U.S. is right at the top of the list As we speak, over 120,000 people are waiting for transplants, hoping that someone will either donate tissue they can live without, or sign that donor card. However, even though the need for transplants has grown, their availability numbers have remained steady, while the number of living donors has actually dropped since the early 2000s.

Within this community of patients in dire need of a transplant, there's a smaller group of people, HIV positive individuals, who in the past couldn't have a transplant even if there was a suitable donor.

From 1988 to 2013, it was illegal in the U.S. to either donate your organs to other people suffering from HIV, or to receive a transplant as an HIV-positive patient. Despite the fact that AIDS has been turned around by modern drugs from an often fatal disease into a chronic, but manageable illness, victims' life-spans have still been affected by kidney and liver failure.

Various drugs and even "vaccines" developed for AIDS, involve a veritable cocktail of chemicals that can have awe inspiring side-effects, including dementia

Even when the body manages to deal with the strain these drugs put on its routine processes, the kidney and liver inevitably still suffer. The fact is, the human anatomy is not designed to deal with these compounds on a long-term basis, and ultimately there's only so much it can handle before it gives in.

People are reaching out

Even though the authorities might not be doing much to raise the awareness of the population, those who are already familiar with America's need for organ donors try their best. From car-signs to social media posts, regular citizens are doing everything they can. In some cases, it happens that a close friend, someone who didn't know that they could be a live donor, and who wasn't aware of the situation, decides to give a helping hand.

Particularly when it's about kidneys – what the U.S.A is dying for – there are very few incompatibilities between donors and patients. Revolutionary techniques in medical surgery have made it possible to increase these chances even more by analyzing the blood chemistry of both the donor and the receiver, the use of anti-rejection medication, and even the use of robotics.

In the end, regardless of how prepared doctors are to perform this surgery, or new legislation allowing previously disadvantaged groups access to organ donations, nothing can happen without the tissue itself. While for some, becoming a live donor might seem like a lot to ask, donating your organs once you're dead will save the life of another. Imagine that you needed a transplant to survive, what would you say to those who insist on keeping their tissue even when they're six feet under?

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