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Author Topic: In New York, A Rare Case of HIV Transmission From a Live Organ Donor  (Read 2700 times)

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Offline Karol

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MARCH 16, 2011, 5:38 PM ET
In New York, A Rare Case of HIV Transmission From a Live Organ Donor

The New York State Department of Health alerted hospitals and transplant centers Tuesday that an organ recipient recently contracted the virus that causes AIDS  from a live kidney donor in an unnamed city hospital. It’s the nation’s first documented case of HIV transmission via a transplant from a living donor since a sensitive test for the virus was approved and implemented for donor screening in 1985, according to the health department.

A department spokeswoman tells the Health Blog that the hospital followed acceptable protocols in an initial screening of the donor, but that he apparently had “unsafe sex” after the test and prior to donating the organ. “Of course this is a rare case, but we felt like we needed to alert centers to this possibility so they can talk to potential donors about risks and do testing closer to the time of surgery,” she says.

The state declined to name the hospital in the interest of protecting the privacy of the patient.

The department is now recommending that hospitals test donors for HIV and the hepatitis C and B viruses within 14 days before the organ donation, using nucleic acid testing. NAT can detect viral infections weeks to months before antibodies are detectable by standard serologic tests. It hasn’t been recommended for testing organs from deceased donors because of the time pressure of transplanting the organs before they deteriorate, but that time crunch shouldn’t apply to potential living donors, the state notes in its advisory.

Testing for infectious disease has all but eliminated the transmission of HIV through organ, tissue and blood donation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last issued HIV-specific organ-donation screening recommendations in 1994 and is expected to update its recommendation this year.

The state is advising hospitals to question living organ donors about risky behavior, including the use of  non-medical injectable drugs. Compliance with the specific recommendation is voluntary but the department is urging all centers to update their policies for screening living donors as necessary.

The transplant community’s most recent testing recommendations, which appeared in the American Journal of Transplantation last year, said that average-risk donors do not require NAT screening; they didn’t address the timing of screening. The health department says it doesn’t believe those recommendations are sufficiently protective because of the challenges of detecting behavioral risks and learning about the infection status of a donor’s sexual partners.

Daughter Jenna is 31 years old and was on dialysis.
7/17 She received a kidney from a living donor.
Please email us: kidney4jenna@gmail.com
Facebook for Jenna: https://www.facebook.com/WantedKidneyDonor
~ We are forever grateful to her 1st donor Patrice, who gave her 7 years of health and freedom


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