Reports say in a world’s first, US doctors have transplanted a kidney from one HIV-positive patient to another.
The operation took place at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, with both patients said to be doing well.
“This is the first time someone living with HIV has been allowed to donate a kidney in the world,” said Dr Dorry Segev.
Previously, doctors thought that HIV had a great possibility of developing kidney disease in the donor.
But John Hopkins used new anti-retroviral drugs, which were seen as safe, to treat the disease.
Associate Professor of Medicine and Oncology at John Hopkins Dr Christine Durand said that the operation challenges to see HIV differently, while also advancing medicine.
“The patients were incredibly grateful for this gift and now we just monitor for the long term outcomes,” said Dr Durand.
The operation was performed on Monday.
Donor Nina Martinez (35), from Atlanta USA, told reporters she was feeling good.
She says she was inspired to donate her kidney by an episode of “Greys Anatomy,” adding that she was excited to be part of a medical first.
“I knew that I was the one that they had been waiting for.
“For anyone considering embarking on this journey, it’s doable. I’ve just showed you how and I am very excited to see who the first follow-on might be,” said Martinez.
Dr Durand says the recipient, who chose to remain anonymous, was doing well.
This event and breakthrough follows another significant development in HIV treatment.
In only the second case of its kind, a United Kingdom patient’s HIV was believed to be undetectable after a stem cell transplant earlier this month.
There were about 37 million people worldwide, living with HIV/AIDS in 2017, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) still ranks HIV as “one of the world’s most serious public health challenges.