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Media Briefing to Announce First-Ever Liver Transplant from HIV-Positive Donor - 03/30/2016

Media Briefing to Announce First-Ever Liver Transplant from HIV-Positive Donor

News media advisory: Attention editors, reporters, broadcasters
Release Date: March 30, 2016

WHAT: Johns Hopkins Medicine press conference on the first-ever HIV-to-HIV liver transplant

WHEN: Wednesday, March 30, 12 noon EDT

WHERE: Turner Auditorium
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
720 Rutland Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21205

Parking is available in the Washington Garage for regular-sized cars; larger news trucks/vans may park along Monument Street and Rutland Avenue.

Members of the press located in the United States can participate via telephone by dialing 888-651-5908; click here for a list of international access numbers. The conference ID number is 5029433. A live webcast of the event can be viewed here.

Reporters attending the briefing remotely may submit questions for the participants by emailing [email protected] and including their name and outlet name.

Highlights and live updates from the event will be posted on Twitter via @HopkinsMedNews. Photographs and video clips related to the surgery and Johns Hopkins are available for download here: Exavault

Following the passage of the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act of 2013 and more recent approval from the United Network for Organ Sharing, a multidisciplinary team from Johns Hopkins Medicine recently performed the world’s first-ever HIV-to-HIV liver transplant and the United States’ first-ever HIV-to-HIV kidney transplant. Members of the medical team will speak to reporters about these landmark surgeries.

“This is an unbelievably exciting day for our hospital and our team, but more importantly for patients living with both HIV and end-stage organ disease. For these individuals, this could mean a new chance at life,” says Dorry L. Segev, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Approximately 122,000 people are on the transplant waiting list in the United States at any one time. Thousands die each year, many of whom might have lived had they gotten the organ they needed. Meanwhile, Segev estimates that each year, about 500 to 600 HIV-positive would-be organ donors die. Their organs could have saved more than 1,000 people if the medical community was allowed to use the organs for transplant.

An antiquated law, which the HOPE Act reversed, prevented doctors from using organs from HIV-positive donors, even to save HIV-positive patients desperately in need of organs. Despite very positive outcomes when HIV-positive patients received HIV-negative organs and the proven success of HIV-positive to HIV-positive kidney transplants in South Africa, HIV-positive to HIV-positive transplant in the United States was not a possibility until the HOPE Act’s passage in 2013.

“Organ transplantation is critical for patients with HIV, who die on the waiting list even faster than their HIV-negative counterparts,” says Segev. “We are very thankful to Congress, the president and the entire transplant community for letting us use organs from HIV-positive patients to save lives instead of throwing them away, as we had to do for so many years.”

This work is supported by the Division of Intramural Research, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health.

Dorry L. Segev, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Surgery and Director of the Epidemiology Research Group in Organ Transplantation at Johns Hopkins Medicine

Christine Durand, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and Oncology at Johns Hopkins Medicine

Morris Murray, HIV-positive liver transplant patient

Please note: Dorry Segev will be departing the country for planned leave immediately after the press conference at 1 p.m. and will not be available for interviews until mid-April.

For more information on Johns Hopkins Medicine's Comprehensive Transplant Center, please visit its webpage.