First living HIV-positive organ donor wants to lift ‘the shroud of HIV related stigma’

From NPR online

Nina Martinez just became the world’s first living HIV-positive organ donor.

In a medical breakthrough, surgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital late last month successfully transplanted one of her kidneys to a recipient who is also HIV positive.

“I feel wonderful,” Martinez, 35, said in an interview with NPR’s Michel Martin, 11 days into her recovery. The patient who received her kidney has chosen to remain anonymous, but is doing well, Martinez is told.

Nina Martinez and her surgeon, Dr. Dorry Segev
Nina Martinez and her surgeon, Dr. Dorry Segev

“They’re doing wonderfully and they got an organ they desperately needed to get and that’s all I could ask for,” Martinez said.

HIV advocates are celebrating the achievement as an important step towards lifting the stigma around a disease that affects some 1.1 million Americans. In 2017, an estimated 18 patients died each day while waiting for an organ transplant. Many of these deaths involved HIV positive patients who have traditionally had access to a much smaller pool of potential organ donors.

Read the full article on NPR.com.