UCSF: Will Study Kidney, Liver Transplant Safety for HIV Patients
The University of California-San Francisco will launch the first- ever study of liver and kidney transplants in HIV-infected persons thanks to a $1 million grant from the Universitywide AIDS Research Program of the University of California. Led by Drs. Peter Stock and Michelle Roland, the study will examine the safety, efficacy and long term benefits of transplant procedures in HIV-infected individuals. Assemblywoman Carole Midgen (D-San Francisco), who sponsored the legislation that earmarked the funds, said, "People with HIV and AIDS are too often deemed ineligible for organ transplants on the basis that more research needs to be done. This important research is needed to show whether organ transplantation should be included in the list of procedures that are covered by insurance payers for persons with HIV" (UCSF release, 2/1). The UCSF team will study four HIV-positive patients who are already eligible for kidney transplants and three other infected patients who are awaiting liver transplants to learn three things: if immunity-suppressing drugs given to prevent transplant rejection worsen HIV infections; if AIDS drugs compromise the effectiveness of immunity-suppressing drugs in HIV-positive transplant patients; and how AIDS medicines and immunosuppressants interact with each other (Perlman, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/2). Dr. George Lemp, director of the Universitywide AIDS Research Program, said, "Although the new combination therapies are extending the lives of many persons with HIV, a substantial number now die from other causes, such as end-stage liver and kidney disease. A careful study to demonstrate safety and efficacy of organ transplantation ... is essential given the increasing numbers of HIV-infected persons" faced with these conditions (UCSF release, 2/1). A second $1 million dollar grant will allow the program to add more patients at a later date; officials hope eventually to recruit up to 70 more patients (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.