HIV Screening Practices for Living Organ Donors, New York State, 2010: Need for Standard Policies

Kwan, Candice K.; Al-Samarrai, Teeb; Smith, Lou C.; Sabharwal, Charulata J.; Valente, Kim A.; Torian, Lucia V.; McMurdo, Lisa M.; Shepard, Colin W.; Brooks, John T.; Kuehnert, Matthew J.
October 2012
Clinical Infectious Diseases;Oct2012, Vol. 55 Issue 7, p990
Academic Journal
Our survey of kidney and liver transplant centers in New York State found a wide variation among transplant centers in evaluation and screening for human immunodeficiency virus risk and infection among prospective living donors. Survey results underscore the need to standardize practices.Our survey of kidney and liver transplant centers in New York State found a wide variation among transplant centers in evaluation and screening for HIV risk and infection among prospective living donors. Survey results underscore the need to standardize practices.A recent transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from a living donor to a kidney recipient revealed a possible limitation in existing screening protocols for HIV infection in living donors. We surveyed kidney and liver transplant centers (N = 18) in New York State to assess HIV screening protocols for living donors. Although most transplant centers evaluated HIV risk behaviors in living donors, evaluation practices varied widely, as did the extent of HIV testing and prevention counseling. All centers screened living donors for serologic evidence of HIV infection, either during initial evaluation or ≥1 month before surgery; however, only 50% of transplant centers repeated HIV testing within 14 days before surgery for all donors or donors with specific risk behaviors. Forty-four percent of transplant centers used HIV nucleic acid testing (NAT) to screen either all donors or donors with recognized risk behaviors, and 55% never performed HIV NAT. Results suggest the need to standardize evaluation of HIV risk behaviors and prevention counseling in New York State to prevent acquisition of HIV by prospective living organ donors, and to conduct HIV antibody testing and NAT as close to the time of donation as possible to prevent HIV transmission to recipients.


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