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Study: Hepatitis C Not A Barrier To Organ Transplants

Emily Forman/Side Effects Public Media
Kiran Shelat received a kidney infected with hepatitis C as part of a trial conducted by the University of Pennsylvania.

For years, transplant surgeons have been reluctant to use organs from people who were infected with hepatitis C, due to fears of spreading the virus. But a new study gives hope to the tens of thousands of people waiting for a transplant.

According to the study of heart and lung transplantspublished this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, new antiviral drugs are so effective that recipients can be protected from infection. It's the latest in a line of studies building a case for using these organs, NPR reports

Side Effects has explored the issue in The Workaround, a podcast highlighting the ways Americans deal with roadblocks in our complex healthcare system.
That story focused on Kiran Shelat, a Philadelphia-area man who was among the nearly 100,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant in the U.S. He found one -- thanks to research being conducted by Dr. David Goldberg of the University of Pennsylvania. 

This story was produced by Side Effects Public Media, a news collaborative covering public health.

Dave Rosenthal is the former managing editor for Side Effects Public Media.