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Statement on Infectious Disease Testing

November 14, 2007 - The Chicago Tribune reported on November 13, 2007 that four people contracted HIV from an organ donor. Initial tests on the donor were negative for the virus that causes AIDS, however, post-transplant testing on the donor using a more sophisticated testing method, known as nucleic acid amplification testing or NAT, were positive for HIV. NAT tests can more accurately detect hepatitis C and HIV than traditional tests, which detect the antibody to the viruses.

The Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank wishes to assure patients and surgeons who may receive transplantable eye tissues that NAT testing is routinely performed on all donors. The FDA requires all eye banks to use this testing method as an added measure of safety.