The world’s first HIV-positive to HIV-positive heart transplant has been successfully performed at Montefiore Einstein. The patient, in her sixties, suffered from advanced heart failure and received the life-saving donation, along with a simultaneous kidney transplant, in early spring. After the four-hour surgery, she spent five weeks recovering in the hospital and now sees her transplant physicians at Montefiore Einstein for monitoring.
Montefiore Einstein is one of only 25 centers in the United States eligible to offer this complex surgery, having met prior surgical benchmarks and outcomes set by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
“Previously unthinkable, this is a significant milestone not just for people living with HIV who have been able to receive organs from others but were prohibited from donating, but for all patients awaiting heart transplantation,” said Ulrich P. Jorde, MD, Head of Heart Failure, Cardiac Transplantation & Mechanical Circulatory Support, Vice Chief, Division of Cardiology at Montefiore, and Professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “Going forward, those patients on the list who are HIV-positive may now, at highly select centers such as Montefiore Einstein, receive HIV-positive organs. This will not only reduce their own wait time, but reduce the number of patients on the wait list, thus allowing earlier access to an organ for others.”