(The Verge) The first American kidney and liver transplants between people with HIV will be performed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, The New York Times reports. If successful, scientists will be able to perform more of these transplants, and that could be huge for organ transplantation in the US; researchers at the university estimate that donations from people who are HIV-positive could save more than 1,000 people.
Currently, people living with HIV can receive organs from donors who don't have the infection. But transplants between two people with HIV were forbidden from 1988 until November 2013, when President Obama lifted the ban by signing the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act. Because of the ban, suitable organs from over 500 people with HIV went to waste each year, Dorry Segev, associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University, told the Times. Now Johns Hopkins says the institution has received transplant approval from the United Network for Organ Sharing — a non-profit organization that manages the country's organ transplant system. This means that the university's doctors will perform the first of these transplants as soon as they can find a recipient and a matching organ.