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HIV transmitted via transplanted organ

March 17, 2011 at 10:20 PM
ATLANTA, March 17 (UPI) -- Health officials say they have confirmed a case of human immunodeficiency virus transmission by a transplanted organ from a living U.S. donor.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released Thursday, says the donor tested negative for HIV prior to transplant but the most sensitive screening test was not used because it was not required.

"This case highlights the need to revise national policy on the type and timing of HIV tests used to screen living donors," the report says. "Specifically, transplant centers should screen living donors using the most sensitive test -- currently nucleic acid testing -- as close to the time of transplant surgery as feasible."

In addition, donors should also be counseled to avoid behaviors that place them at risk of acquiring HIV because even the most sensitive HIV test can miss recent infections, the report says.

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