Transplantation has become a technique for giving a new lease of life for many people suffering from organ failures. But a recent case has taken kidney transplant to another level by eliminating the HIV barrier.
A 37-year-old Nigerian man suffering from severe renal failure has undergone a kidney transplant in Bengaluru, India. In 2012, he was diagnosed with renal damage after he collapsed during a business trip in Netherlands. He also underwent dialysis treatment for two months.
He was already found to be HIV positive in 2008 and had lost all hopes to overcome his kidney problem due to risks of retroviral infection in his body.
"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," said the 37-year-old Nigerian.
A team of Nephrologists performed the renal transplant and the patient has recovered completely. He is expecting to return to Nigeria in two months.
Dr Rohan Augustine, consultant Nephrologist at Manipal Hospitals, 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.
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 centers across the world are successfully doing kidney transplantation, HIV is still considered a contraindication to kidney transplantation in most Indian centers."