February 21, 2017
Johns Hopkins transplant surgeons include, from left to right, Niraj Desai, Jacqueline Garonzik Wang (seated), Dorry Segev, Andrew Cameron (seated), Shane Ottmann and Benjamin Philosophe.
In March 2016, Johns Hopkins surgeons performed the first organ transplants
in the U.S. from a deceased donor with HIV to patients with HIV. Liver transplant surgeon Andrew Cameron
and kidney transplant surgeon Niraj Desai
say the surgeries are nearly the same as for any other transplants. The difference is at the microscopic level—particularly in ensuring that a more virulent strain of HIV is not introduced to recipients.
Infectious disease physicians play a significant preoperative role in vetting the donor organ for level of disease. Postoperatively, pharmacists aim to avoid known medication interactions. Because HIV medicines can interfere with the immunosuppressants required after an organ transplant, patients’ drug levels are monitored closely.
Specialists from many disciplines played a role in the transplants from a deceased donor with HIV to a patient with HIV (see sidebar). They also take part in every transplant at the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center. All transplants are multidisciplinary endeavors, involving more than a dozen specialized team members.
Thanks to the complex nature of care, Cameron says the first-in-the-U.S. operations have been a great success, as have been the several HIV transplants that have taken place since.
The Research Road to Transplant
The center is currently taking referrals for patients with HIV who need an organ transplant. With clinics available in the Greater Maryland and Washington, D.C., area, it is easier than ever to access Johns Hopkins care for organ transplantation.
JOHNS HOPKINS TEAM MEMBERS INVOLVED WITH ORGAN TRANSPLANT
Explore an interactive timeline of the 30-plus years of HIV/AIDS research and treatment at The Johns Hopkins Hospital: bit.ly/HIVAIDStimeline