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Study: Kidney Transplants OK for People With HIV

Study: Kidney Transplants OK for People With HIV

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People with HIV who are prone to kidney disease or other problems have been cleared to safely receive kidney transplants, researchers announced Wednesday.

Due to HIV drug treatments that can wreak havoc on kidneys, many of those who required transplants to live were deemed unable to survive after such an operation. But new findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine Thursday show that patient and graft survival are high enough to sanction transplants.

Peter Stock, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, who led the study, told MSNBC that his team examined 150 patients in 19 medical centers across the country. The patients were followed for up to three years, exhibiting a 95% survival rate at one year and a 88% rate by year 3. Of the 11 who did not survive after three years, their deaths were caused by indirect medical complications such as heart problems or lung infections as well as cancer in the old kidney.

Still, the incidence of kidney rejection was higher than average. Stock said that while most rejection episodes were reversed, each instance of rejection "takes a little bit of life out of a kidney. So instead of lasting 20 years, it might last 15 years."

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