Four patients in Chicago tested positive for H.I.V. after receiving organs from an H.I.V. – infected organ donor. Two patients were infected at the University of Chicago Medical Center, one at Northwestern University Medical Center, and one transplant patient was infected at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
The story was first reported by the Chicago Tribune. The transplant recipients all received organs from the same infected donor. It is the first time in at least ten years that there has been a case of H.I.V. as a result of an organ transplant. The transplant recipients were infected with hepatitis C at the same time they were infected with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.
These cases are important because they may lead to a serious reevaluation of viral testing procedures for organ donors. Most donor tests are able to detect the progression of the H.I.V. virus. Organ donor surgery is almost always time-sensitive, however, so doctors have not used more thorough testing methods.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Medical Malpractice and Negligent Care.