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Washington • Surgeons in Baltimore have performed the nation's first organ transplants between HIV-positive people. It's a long-awaited new option to extend the lives of patients with the AIDS virus whose kidneys or livers also are failing.

Johns Hopkins University announced Wednesday that both recipients are recovering well after one received a kidney and the other a liver from a deceased donor — organs that ordinarily would have been thrown away because of the HIV infection.

Doctors in South Africa have reported successfully transplanting HIV-positive kidneys, but Hopkins said the HIV-positive liver transplant is the first worldwide. Hopkins didn't identify its patients but said the kidney recipient is recuperating at home and the liver recipient is expected to be discharged soon.

Modern anti-AIDS medications have turned HIV from a quick killer into a chronic disease — meaning patients may live long enough to suffer organ failure. In the U.S., HIV-positive patients already are eligible to receive transplants from HIV-negative donors just like anyone else on a waiting list.