A patient at Duke Hospital is doing well after a groundbreaking organ transplant.
The university says Stanley Boling is the first HIV-positive person in the Southeast to receive an organ from an HIV-positive donor. Boling had a liver transplant at Duke on December 22, and his doctors say he is in good health nearly four months later.
"It was a great Christmas present," Boling said. "It really was."
Such organ transplants had been illegal until recent years, and are still relatively rare.
"You know, we're thrilled that so far not only is he doing really well, but I think operationally we're able to prove that yes, this is something that we really can do, and do very successfully," said Dr. Cameron Wolfe, an infectious disease expert at Duke.
Wolfe says he believes the procedure opens up options for hundreds of patients who are HIV-positive.
"And that's actually helpful for folks who are HIV-negative, too, because now my HIV-positive patient awaiting a kidney, for example, is not competing against someone else on the waiting list for an organ that, at the end of the day, is incredibly scarce," he said.