A large number of individuals in our community were infected with HIV and/or hepatitis C because of tainted blood. Many have passed away, while many others continue to live with the viruses and their consequences, including liver disease. Increasingly, people are thinking about or are being considered for liver transplantation. At present, access to liver transplants in Canada for people infected with HIV is limited to non-existent.
The CHS HIV-Hepatitis National Committee has been working to address this issue. Among other things, the CHS has been collaborating and advocating with the Canadian Treatment Action Council (CTAC) to make solid organ transplants available for HIV-positive people in Canada. To further this work, the CHS HIV-Hepatitis National Committee is trying to assess the number of infected individuals from our community considering a liver transplantation, either here in Canada or abroad.
It should be noted that thanks to these efforts, the first HIV liver transplant was done in April 2011 at the Toronto General Hospital - UHN ! ; they have since then established a waiting list for future HIV transplants. For persons living with HIV/AIDS experiencing kidney or liver failure, their doctor should refer them to the Toronto General Hospital Immunodeficiency Clinic for an assessment.
The CHS also wants to remind all members that the organization can provide support and information to those considering a transplant. If this is your case, or if you simply would like to help advance our work to obtain better access to liver transplants, please feel free to contact Michel Long in all confidentiality at the CHS national office: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-668-2686.
View this video for a better understanding of the urgency of greater access to liver transplantations.
James Kreppner on liver transplant eligibility for people with HIV
Two studies - one from 2007 and one from 2008 on HIV liver transplantation:
Stock and Roland September 2007
Roland et al February 2008 Amer J of Transplantation
Here are more recent articles related to this issue:
HIV People Should Be Able to Receive Organs from HIV Donors, Experts Say
More HIV-Positive Patients Receive Organ Transplants
Edmonton researcher at centre of new national program helping Canadian transplant patients
Triple therapy for hepatitis C is effective after liver transplantation, but side-effects are common
HIV Is No Barrier to Successful Liver Transplant for Cancer Treatment
The Canadian Liver Foundation published a study and made recommendations in March 2013 about the urgency to deal with liver disease in Canada:
Liver Disease in Canada: A CRISIS IN THE MAKING
AN ASSESSMENT OF LIVER DISEASE IN CANADA - MARCH 2013
FACT SHEET: LIVER DISEASE: UNDER-DIAGNOSED AND UNDER-TREATED
FACT SHEET: ALL MAJOR FORMS OF LIVER DISEASE ARE INCREASING IN CANADA
FACT SHEET: LIVER DISEASE IN CANADA: KEY REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS
The Canadian Cancer Society, in its 2013 report, features an in-depth analysis of liver cancer (Chapter 7: Special topic: Liver cancer). This cancer is one of the fastest growing cancer types in Canada with regard to new cases and deaths. Hepatitis B and C are identified as important causes of this growth.
Canadian Cancer Statistics 2013 - Canadian Cancer Society