- South Africa saw the first ever successful organ transplant from an HIV+ donor to an HIV- receiver
- A mother donated her liver to her child, who had liver disease
- The transplant is seen as a medical and scientific breakthrough
An HIV+ mom donated her liver to her fatally ill HIV- child thanks to a breakthrough operation. The child had end-stage liver disease and the operation saved her life.
The transplant was successful and is seen by doctors everywhere as an amazing feat.
South Africa's Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, described the success of the operation as a breakthrough in science.
The operation happened in 2017 and there is no sign of HIV in the child as of yet. The procedure took place at the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre. It is believed it was the first of its kind in the world.
The doctors involved in the surgery included Professor Jean Botha, Dr Harriet Etheredge, Professor Caroline Tiemessen, Dr June Fabian and Dr Francesca Conradie, according to a report by News24.
The operation was approved by the human research ethics committee (medical) at Wits University after the mother offered her liver when her child had been waiting for a donation for 6 months.
While it's not illegal to transplant HIV+ organs, it is frowned upon because of the risk of transmitting HIV to the receiver.
One important factor that is considered when looking at transplanting an organ from an HIV+ donor is that the person has been taking their antiretroviral medication properly for at least 6 months.
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