DURHAM, N.C. -- Doctors at Duke Health performed one of the first surgeries of its kind to give a man with HIV a chance to live a healthier life.

Stanley Boling received a new liver last December from a donor who is also HIV positive. The surgery was the first of its kind performed in the southern United States.

Boling has lived with HIV since 1982. He says if he did not get the transplant, he likely would not have lived much longer.

"The gastroneurologist that I saw in Knoxville told me I wouldn't have lasted until the summer," said Boling. "I'm so glad I went through it."

This surgery would not have been possible ten years ago, as it was illegal for HIV positive people to become organ donors. With the success of Boling's operation, the doctors who performed it say they're hopeful more HIV positive people will donate their organs.

"There's far too few donors out there," said Dr. Carl Berg. "Having a new pool of potential donors that can take some of the pressure off of that disequilibrium between supply and demand is going to be a great benefit."

Boling says he is feeling great three months after the surgery.

"I'm not deteriorating any more," said Boling. "I'm not on any oxygen--I don't need that anymore. I'm glad I persevered."

Get the latest news, sports and weather delivered straight to your inbox. Click here to sign up for email and text alerts.