28 August 2014 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau
5 people who received organs from HIV infected patients are healthy: MHW
Singapore: HIV patients can soon be potential organ donors with the Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare Chief (MHW) and the Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center (TORSC) leaning toward qualifying HIV patients as acceptable donors.
Experts are contemplating on lifting the ban, in wake of a recent incident where five people who received organs from a man infected with HIV are healthy and none of them have become infected with the virus.
Mr Lee Po-chang, the chairman of TORSC highlighted, "If we want to save more lives, we need more flexible regulations. Though these transplantations are completely safe, doctors must communicate the facts to the recipients and allow them to decide."
Mr Chen Chao-long a liver transplant specialist and superintendent of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital pointed out that there were successful organ transplants from HIV donors in the past in the United States and other countries two decades ago.
Mr Hsu Sen-chieh, secretary-general of Taiwan Lourdes Association, a nonprofit organization, that helps people with HIV in Taiwan, said that AIDS patients must be encouraged to donate organs. He added that patients with the conditions must have the medical rights they deserve.
Medical experts however, consider this to be a major issue that needs to be deliberated more fully before making any final decisions. Mr Wang Shoei-shen a cardiac transplant specialist, cautioned that if regulations are changed without due consideration, it may lead to panic among patients who are awaiting a transplant surgery.