The spread of AIDS and its association with a retrovirus, commonly called T-lymphotropic virus type III (HIV) has produced great concern among those involved in transplantation about the possibility for transmission of this disease through tissue and organ transplant. Isolation of the virus from conjunctiva and tears further heightened this concern for corneal transplants. This review of medical examiner (ME) cases, a population in which high numbers of transplant corneas are retrieved, has revealed positive serologic tests for HIV in serum from 5 cases in 205 screens. These represent potential donors based on other standard medical criteria available at the time of collection. This tissue was also submitted for viral culture, and virus was recovered from the corneal tissue in McCarey-Kaufman (MK) media. These findings and case reviews are discussed.
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