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First Hospital Approved to Perform Organ Transplants From HIV Positive Donors

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Updated: | Originally published: ;

Johns Hopkins Hospital became the first institution in the country to receive approval to conduct organ transplants from HIV positive donors to HIV positive patients, the hospital said this week.

“This is an unbelievably exciting day for our hospital and our team, but more importantly for patients living with HIV and end-stage organ disease,” said Dorry Segev, an associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins. “For these individuals, this means a new chance at life.”

The approval, the first since a 2013 law lifted a ban on researching the practice, could save hundreds of lives given the backlog of people in need of an organ. More than 120,000 people are on the waiting list for a transplant in United States, according to Johns Hopkins.

The first transplant will occur when patients and donors have been identified.

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Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com