Background: Organ transplantation from donors with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to recipients with HIV (HIV D+/R+) presents risks of donor-derived infections. Understanding clinical, immunologic, and virologic characteristics of HIV-positive donors is critical for safety.
Methods: We performed a prospective study of donors with HIV-positive and HIV false-positive (FP) test results within the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act in Action studies of HIV D+/R+ transplantation (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02602262, NCT03500315, and NCT03734393). We compared clinical characteristics in HIV-positive versus FP donors. We measured CD4 T cells, HIV viral load (VL), drug resistance mutations (DRMs), coreceptor tropism, and serum antiretroviral therapy (ART) detection, using mass spectrometry in HIV-positive donors.
Results: Between March 2016 and March 2020, 92 donors (58 HIV positive, 34 FP), representing 98.9% of all US HOPE donors during this period, donated 177 organs (131 kidneys and 46 livers). Each year the number of donors increased. The prevalence of hepatitis B (16% vs 0%), syphilis (16% vs 0%), and cytomegalovirus (CMV; 91% vs 58%) was higher in HIV-positive versus FP donors; the prevalences of hepatitis C viremia were similar (2% vs 6%). Most HIV-positive donors (71%) had a known HIV diagnosis, of whom 90% were prescribed ART and 68% had a VL <400 copies/mL. The median CD4 T-cell count (interquartile range) was 194/µL (77-331/µL), and the median CD4 T-cell percentage was 27.0% (16.8%-36.1%). Major HIV DRMs were detected in 42%, including nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (33%), integrase strand transfer inhibitors (4%), and multiclass (13%). Serum ART was detected in 46% and matched ART by history.
Conclusion: The use of HIV-positive donor organs is increasing. HIV DRMs are common, yet resistance that would compromise integrase strand transfer inhibitor-based regimens is rare, which is reassuring regarding safety.
Keywords: HIV; drug resistance; organ donation; transplant.
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