Shanghai successfully performs heart surgery on HIV positive patient

World Today

A 58-year-old AIDS patient was discharged from hospital earlier this month after he underwent heart surgery at Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center in January.

It was the mainland’s first ever successful heart surgery on an AIDS patient. Shanghai has been working to improve medical services to HIV/AIDS patients, but the risk after occupational exposure remains a concern among medical workers.

CGTN’s Song Wenjing filed this report.

Shanghai successfully performs heart surgery on HIV positive patient

It was the mainland's first ever successful heart surgery on an AIDS patient. Shanghai has been working to improve medical services to HIV/AIDS patients, but the risk after occupational exposure remains a concern among medical workers. CGTN’s Song Wenjing reports/

The patient was hospitalized at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center. Last October, he was diagnosed with a heart problem that could only be fixed through surgery. At the same time, he also tested HIV-positive.

That created a problem because almost no hospital was willing to perform surgery on him. It’s now the only medical facility in Shanghai that will do surgery on a patient with AIDS. Zhang was admitted by the center, but doctors faced many challenges.

“The patient already had low immunity and pneumonia. That means he could encounter serious complications during the surgery. That’s why we needed to give him anti-viral therapy first. After two months of individualized anti-viral therapy, the patient’s immunity level was strong enough to tolerate the surgery,” Lu Hongzhou, Party Secretary at Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center said.

When it comes to medical appliances, Lu said the disinfection procedure for HIV is almost the same as for hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

But he adds, occupational risk of HIV transmission can’t be totally avoided. That’s why medical professionals sometimes have to take post-exposure medication to reduce the risk of developing HIV.

For now, the Shanghai AIDS Diagnosis and Treatment Center has helped HIV/AIDS patients get surgery ranging from orthopedics, neurosurgery, oncology and even eye operations.