AIDS Activist Larry Kramer Leaves Hospital Following Liver Transplant
AIDS activist and playwright Larry Kramer was discharged on Wednesday from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center after undergoing a liver transplant on Dec. 21, the Associated Press reports. Kramer, who is HIV-positive and a founder of the Gay Men's Health Crisis, received the transplant after he reached end-stage liver failure resulting from hepatitis B infection. He will remain in Pittsburgh for several weeks so doctors can continue to monitor his progress before returning to his home in New York. "He's doing extremely well," hospital spokesperson Lisa Rossi said. The Thomas Starzl Transplantation Institute at UPMC has performed 10 liver transplants on people with HIV since 1997 (Associated Press, 1/3). Patients with HIV have typically been "ruled out" for transplants because their life expectancy was deemed too short, but with the introduction of combination antiretroviral drug therapies in the mid-1990s, HIV patients on the treatments are living much longer. Still, many transplant centers refuse to perform liver transplants on HIV-positive patients because the organs are "scarce," and Kramer said that one hospital would not treat him because he had detectable HIV levels in his blood (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/20/01).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.