New Resources Available on Transplantation Safety

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released the 2013 PHS Guideline for Reducing Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus Transmission Through Organ Transplantation. This guideline updates the 1994 U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Guidelines for Preventing Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Through Transplantation of Human Tissue and Organs. Major changes from the 1994 PHS guidelines are that the 2013 PHS guideline includes:

  1. recommendations that organ donors be screened for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in addition to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV);
  2. recommendations for new, more sensitive laboratory testing; and
  3. inclusion of a revised set of risk factors for HIV, HBV, and HCV infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Solid Organ Transplantation and the Probability of Transmitting HIV, HBV, or HCV: A Systematic Review to Support an Evidence-Based Guideline comprises the primary evidence underlying the recommendations in the 2013 PHS guideline.

In addition, CDC recently launched a website devoted to transplant safety, which features  the role of CDC and other agencies and organizations involved in organ and tissue safety; donor screening and testing requirements; and information for health-care providers.