An Atlanta woman has made history by becoming the first living HIV-positive person to donate a kidney to an HIV-positive recipient. Nina Martinez, a 36-year-old public health consultant, who is otherwise healthy and has her HIV under “excellent control,” donated her kidney at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, to a donor who wishes to remain anonymous and both are doing well, the hospital reports.
Martinez has lived with the illness since she was six-weeks-old, when she contracted HIV from a blood transfusion back in 1983 before blood banks started screening for the virus. She says access to health care has been a “huge contributor” to her health and she hopes her story will inspire others to become living organ donors, whether they’re HIV-negative or -positive.
Dr. Dorry Segev,who performed Martinez’s surgery calls the historic operation “really a celebration of HIV medical care and its evolution.”