Liver Transplantation in HIV-Infected Recipients

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Although human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients are living longer and dying less often from complications related to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), they are experiencing significant morbidity and mortality related to end-stage liver disease. Advances in the management of HIV disease have made it difficult to continue denying transplantation to this population based upon futility arguments alone. Patient and graft survival rates in HIV-infected study subjects appear similar to those in large transplant databases. There are no reports suggesting significant HIV disease progression. There are substantial interactions between immunosuppressants and antiretroviral drugs that require careful monitoring and dose adjustment. The evaluation and management of HIV-infected transplant candidates and recipients require excellent communication among a multidisciplinary team and the primary HIV care provider. It is critical that HIV clinicians and hepatologists are aware that liver transplantation is an option for HIV-infected patients at many transplant centers as delays in referral result in unnecessary mortality during the pretransplantation evaluation process.

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