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The transplantation of solid organs from HIV-positive donors to HIV-negative recipients: ethical implications
  1. Bram P Wispelwey1,
  2. Ari Z Zivotofsky2,
  3. Alan B Jotkowitz3
  1. 1Ben Gurion University of the Negev—The Medical School for International Health, Beer Sheva, Israel
  2. 2Gonda Brain Science Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
  3. 3Department of Medicine, Soroka University Medical Center, Ben Gurion University of the Negev—The Medical School for International Health, Beer Sheva, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Bram P Wispelwey, Ben Gurion University of the Negev—The Medical School for International Health, POB 653, Beer Sheva 84105, Israel; bwispelw{at}alumni.princeton.edu

Abstract

HIV-positive individuals have traditionally been barred from donating organs due to transmission concerns, but this barrier may soon be lifted in the USA in limited settings when recipients are also infected with HIV. Recipients of livers and kidneys with well-controlled HIV infection have been shown to have similar outcomes to those without HIV, erasing ethical concerns about poorly chosen beneficiaries of precious organs. But the question of whether HIV-negative patients should be disallowed from receiving an organ from an HIV-positive donor has not been adequately explored. In this essay, we will discuss the background to this scenario and the ethical implications of its adoption from the perspectives of autonomy, beneficence/non-maleficence and justice.

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