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NY Health Dept. Revises Screening Recommendations After Transplant Recipient Gets HIV

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March 16, 2011

The New York State Department of Health has revised HIV testing recommendations for hospitals after a kidney transplant recipient contracted the virus from a donor liver after the transplant operation at one of the state’s hospitals, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causes a viral infection resulting in Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

This is the first documented HIV transmission from an organ transplant the United States since donor testing became standard in 1985.

According to the health department spokesperson, the hospital that performed the transplant followed initial donor testing procedures but the individual donating the kidney engaged in unsafe sex between the time of HIV testing and the transplant operation.

To protect the privacy of the patient, the state agency did not release the name of the hospital facility.

As a result, health department officials are asking hospitals to implement tighter donor screening procedures, including questioning donors about risky behaviors such as drug use and administering a nucleic acid test (NAT) to donors within 14 days before the transplant operation.

The New York State Department of Health just announced yesterday a new campaign targeting AIDS prevention and stigma.