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First Reported HIV Transmission from Kidney Transplant Since 1980s

First Reported HIV Transmission from Kidney Transplant Since 1980s


A kidney transplant recipient in New York City has been diagnosed with AIDS two years after undergoing a live organ transplant procedure, making it the first time a person has contracted HIV, which caused the recent AIDS diagnosis, from a live transplant in the United States since the 1980s.

According to the spokeswoman for the hospital, which was not disclosed to the press, the donor tested negative for the virus, but then had unprotected sex in the 79 days between the test and the operation in 2009.

"Of course this is a rare case," the spokeswoman said according to the Wall Street Journal, "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."

State health department officials and the Centers for Disease Control are now asking hospitals to question living donors about risky sexual behavior and non-medical drug use. They also advised hospitals to use nucleic acid testing for living donors, which can detect viral infections faster than standard blood tests.

Neither the donor nor the recipient knew they had HIV until a year after the transplant. The recipient had no history of sexually transmitted infections and tested negative for HIV 12 days before the transplant.

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