The New York state health department released a report this week saying that an organ transplant recipient contracted HIV from a kidney donation at a New York hospital. It’s the nation’s first documented case of HIV transmission via a living donor transplant since the 1980s. How did this happen? And what are the repercussions?
According to the report, the male organ donor had unprotected sex after he was screened for HIV, about 12 weeks before he donated the organ. Both the donor and recipient were diagnosed with HIV a year after the successful transplant operation.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is responding with a recommendation that transplant centers nationwide screen living donors for HIV no more than seven days before their organs are recovered and transplanted.
But the case also raises questions about the ethics of living donor transplants – and how upfront both recipients and donors are about the risks involved.
Joining us to talk about those risks is Arthur Caplan, Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.