KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Johns Hopkins Is First Hospital Approved For HIV-Positive To HIV-Positive Organ Transplants

It's estimated that such procedures could benefit 600 recipients and shorten the transplant lists for both HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients. In other public health news, some pharmacists are becoming de facto drugs cops in the face of the opioid epidemic.

The Washington Post: Johns Hopkins Becomes First Center In Country To Offer HIV-Positive To HIV-Positive Organ Transplants
Johns Hopkins announced this week that it had received approval from the nation's organ-sharing authority to become the first hospital in the United States to conduct transplants involving HIV-positive donors and HIV-positive recipients. “This is an unbelievably exciting day for our hospital and our team, but more importantly for patients living with HIV and end-stage organ disease. For these individuals, this means a new chance at life,” Dorry L. Segev, an associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a statement. (Eunjung Cha, 2/9)

Meanwhile, Joe Biden picks a point man on his cancer "moonshot" initiative —

And in mosquito-borne virus news, media outlets report on the latest Zika research efforts and a dengue fever outbreak in Hawaii —

NPR: Virus Profilers Race To Figure Out What Makes Zika Tick
When Carolyn Coyne's lab at the University of Pittsburgh recently tried to order a sample of Zika virus from a major laboratory supplier, they were told it was out of stock. "They are actually back-ordered until July for the virus," Coyne says. "At least that's what we were told." She ended up obtaining Zika from another source, and it arrived at her lab Tuesday. She's just one of a growing number of lab researchers who are racing to investigate Zika virus in the wake of reports that it may be linked to some cases of microcephaly, the birth defect that leaves babies with small heads and brains. (Greenfieldboyce, 2/9)

NPR: State Of Emergency On Hawaii's Big Island Over Dengue Fever Outbreak
The mayor of Hawaii County has declared a state of emergency on Hawaii's Big Island over an outbreak of mosquito-borne dengue fever. The island has seen nearly 250 confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne virus since September 2015. State health officials first reported two cases that originated there in late October 2015, Mayor Billy Kenoi says in his declaration. (Kennedy, 2/9)

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