In A First, HIV-Positive Mother Donates Liver To Critically-Ill Daughter

The mother, who was being successfully treated with antiretroviral medication donated her liver to her sick daughter. She would have died without the transplant.

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In A First, HIV-Positive Mother Donates Liver To Critically-Ill Daughter

This is the world's first liver transplant from a mother living with HIV to her HIV-negative child.


Johannesburg: 

Faced with the only chance to save a child's life, doctors in South Africa have performed a medical first -- transplanting part of the liver from a HIV-positive mother to her HIV-negative daughter, it was announced Thursday.

The doctors at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg revealed that, one year after the operation, the child may not have caught the virus from her new liver.

The daughter had a terminal liver disease and would have died without the transplant.

Medication given to the child "may have prevented the transmission of HIV. However, we will only know this conclusively over time," said Jean Botha, chief surgeon at the university.

The team of doctors performed the world's first liver transplant from a mother living with HIV to her critically-ill HIV-negative child, who had been waiting 180 days for a donor.

They said that the mother and child, who have not been identified, have fully recovered and are in good health.

The mother, who was being successfully treated with antiretroviral medication, had repeatedly asked to donate her liver to save her child's life -- posing a major ethnical dilemma for doctors due to the risk of HIV transmission.

South Africa has the world's largest HIV treatment programme and the use of HIV-positive donors could help tackle the severe shortage of donors.

In 2017, 14 children waiting for liver transplants in Johannesburg died before having the operation.

"We hope that this ground-breaking operation will be the first of many like it and will contribute towards promoting justice and equity in liver transplantation," June Fabian, research director at the university's medical centre, said in a press release.

A paper detailing the case was published on Thursday in the peer-reviewed AIDS medical journal.


 



(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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