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HIV Patients May Fare as Well as Others With Kidney Transplants

But study also found that survival rates were lower if organ recipient also had hepatitis C

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Kidney transplant patients with HIV have similar survival rates as those without HIV, a new study finds.

The study included 510 HIV-positive adults who had kidney transplants in the United States between 2002 and 2011. Overall, these patients had similar five- and 10-year survival rates as kidney transplant patients without HIV.

However, transplant recipients who had both HIV and hepatitis C had lower survival rates than those without HIV: 69 percent versus 75 percent after five years, and 50 percent versus 54 percent after 10 years, the study found.

About 25 percent of kidney transplant patients with HIV also have hepatitis C, according to the study published March 19 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The findings suggest that excellent results are possible among HIV-positive kidney transplant recipients. However, doctors should be cautious when considering transplants involving patients with both HIV and hepatitis C, Dr. Jayme Locke, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues concluded.

Over the last decade, there has been a 10-fold increase in the number of kidney transplant recipients with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, the study authors pointed out in a news release from the American Society of Nephrology.

The study provides "a national perspective on the status of HIV transplantation which supports the expanded use of kidney transplantation in this group," Dr. Alissa Wright and Dr. John Gill, from the University of British Columbia in Canada, wrote in an accompanying journal editorial.

More information

The National Kidney Foundation has more about kidney transplant.

SOURCE: American Society of Nephrology, news release, March 19, 2015
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