People Living With HIV/AIDS in Canada Have Difficulty Obtaining Organ Transplants, Advocates Say at AIDS Conference
August 7, 2008
People living with HIV/AIDS in Canada often have difficulty obtaining organ transplants in the country, Canadian HIV/AIDS advocates said at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, Toronto's Globe and Mail reports.
Louise Binder, chair of the Canadian Treatment Action Council, said physicians are discriminating against HIV-positive people based on "specious arguments," such as a shortage of organs or concerns that surgeons will contract HIV during surgery. "It's true that organs for transplant are in short supply, but, nonetheless, those with HIV, [hepatitis] B or C can be equally good candidates," Binder said.
She added that concerns that HIV could be transmitted during surgery are invalid because surgeons take precautions with all patients and HIV-positive people undergoing surgery likely would be nearly noninfectious because of antiretroviral drugs. In addition, surgeons regularly operate on people with hepatitis, which is more infectious than HIV, Binder said.
According to the Globe and Mail, about 58,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Canada, about one-third of whom also have hepatitis. Cooper estimated that about 50 of those people coinfected with HIV and hepatitis would require liver transplants, and even fewer would require kidney transplants (Picard, Globe and Mail, 8/6).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.