Organs transplanted from people infected with HIV

In Taiwan, doctors transplanted organs from a deceased person infected with HIV to five patients. Those affected must now be treated with AIDS medication as a precaution.

In Taiwan, doctors made a serious medical error during a transplant. Instead of transplanting organs from a previously healthy donor, donor organs from an AIDS-infected person were used in five seriously ill patients. The actually renowned clinic in Taiwan informed on its website about the serious incident. As a spokesman for the Taipei National University Hospital said, when reviewing the records, a staff member believed that the English word "reactive" on the standardized AIDS test meant "HIV negative" instead of "HIV positive". This information was then only passed on by telephone, instead of checking and securing the information again. A total of five organs (liver, lung and kidneys) were then transplanted into five patients.

Criminal medical error application The Taiwanese health authorities then filed a criminal complaint with the investigative authorities. These are now being determined on the basis of a "criminal medical error," a spokesman for the authority told the AFP news agency on Monday. The organs had released the relatives of a 38-year-old man who had died a few days ago for donation. The family apparently knew nothing of the deceased's HI infection. The body of the deceased was then also examined for HIV and found. It is therefore clear that there is a transmission error.

Combination drug is said to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak. Those affected are now being given preventive anti-viral AIDS drugs. Earlier this year, it was determined that taking a combined drug containing the active ingredients “emtricitabine” and “tenofovir” could reduce the likelihood of an HIV outbreak by 44 percent, according to a US study called “iPrEx”. (sb)

Also read:
30 years of AIDS: still no cure in sight?
Two million young people infected with HIV worldwide
China: Clinics deny AIDS patients
UN warns of rapid spread of AIDS
AIDS: SI virus is considered a precursor to HIV
Why some do not get AIDS despite HIV
AIDS: no fate with correct antibodies?
World AIDS Day: more solidarity required

Image: Henrik G. Vogel /

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