Science

A new victory of the scientific community against HIV

To save a child suffering from severe liver disease, doctors in South Africa had no choice but to transplant part of his mother’s liver – a procedure that is not very rare, but this was the case for the first time in worldwide medical timetables, since the donor was seropositive and her child did not suffer from AIDS.

The medical team that carried out the transplant last year at the Veterans’ University Hospital in Johannesburg announced today that one year after there is no evidence that the child is infected with HIV.

“In the weeks after transplantation, we thought the baby would be seropositive,” explained surgeon Gen Boota. However, recent tests show that it has not been infected with the virus. The drugs he was given “may have prevented his HIV infection. To put it this way, it will still take quite a while, “he added.

The child was on the waiting list for a six month graft. He had been repeatedly treated with various complications and his life was directly at risk. Since he was not a compatible donor, his mother often offered his own liver. “Without transplantation, she would have definitely died,” the surgical team said.

Despite the risk of the recipient being infected by the virus, the surgeons decided to go ahead with the transplant because they had no choice. They were confident that the virus would be transmitted to the child, so they were given preventive medication.

This transplantation, with an adult seropositive donor, provides new alternatives for people who are anxious to graze as they could save many lives.

South Africa is the country most affected by the AIDS epidemic: 7.1 million people, 18.9% of the population, are HIV positive. In 2017, 14 children died in Johannesburg, waiting for a compatible graft for them.