“It wasn’t a medical issue. It was entirely legal.”
In the United States, there is a high demand for organ transplants, but with a shortage of available organs, patients often find themselves waiting for months or even years, many of them dying in the process.
One community especially affected by this shortage is people living with HIV, who have increased risk of kidney and liver failure. Due to social stigma and legal blockades, these patients often bore the brunt of the organ donation waiting game, but no longer.
Earlier this month, doctors at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine performed the first successful kidney and liver transplants for HIV-positive recipients.
The source of the organs? An HIV-positive donor.
Here’s what this really means for medicine: