Posted on: 07/01/2016


New lease of life: Doctors conduct kidney transplant on HIV+ Nigerian




kidney transplantBENGALURU: Oliver (name changed) from Nigeria was on a business trip to The Netherlands in 2012 when he suddenly became breathless and collapsed. The 37-year-old was later diagnozed with severe renal damage.

Found to be HIV positive in 2008, Oliver gave up hope in life as none helped him overcome his kidney problem due to risks of retroviral infection in his body. He was on hemodialysis since November last till a team of city-based nephrologists conducted a successful renal transplant on him.


Dr Rohan Augustine, consultant nephrologist at Manipal Hospitals, who has been treating Oliver since July 2015, said: "HIV patients were not considered transplant candidates as many believe that survival rates are less as the disease cripples the immune system. Also, transplant patients take drugs that suppress their immune system to prevent organ rejection, a regimen thought to further threaten their already fragile immune system."


With good anti-retroviral therapy, HIV patients receiving transplants now have better chances. Transplantation is the best way forward even for such patients on dialysis if they are medically fit. Awareness on the advantages of transplantation on HIV patients is low in India, he added.


"There is a taboo attached with HIV patients. My apprehensions were put to rest by the doctors here. They gave me a new lease of life," an elated Oliver said.His brother was his donor.


Dr Sudarshan Ballal, chairman, Manipal Hospitals, said renal transplant in such patients needs careful management to ensure that the body doesn't reject the donor organ while infection too doesn't flare up. "Though many medical centres across the world are successfully doing kidney transplantation, HIV is still considered a contraindication to kidney transplantation in most Indian centres," he added.

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