Congress to Allow Organ Transplants Between HIV Positive Patients
November 12, 2013 by Noël Gordon, Senior Specialist for HIV Prevention and Health Equity
In a major win for people living with HIV/AIDS, Congress passed the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act, a bipartisan bill that would allow donated, HIVpositive organs to be used for transplantation in HIV positive patients, a medical procedure currently banned by federal law.
The Wall Street Journal reports that “as HIV patients live longer [lives], they are increasingly receiving organ transplants in the U.S.—but only from uninfected donors. Some transplant surgeons believe that their waiting time would be shortened if they were allowed to accept organs from [HIV positive] donors.”
By making more organs safely available for transplant, the HOPE Act has the potential to save the lives of approximately 1,000 HIV positive patients experiencing liver and kidney failure – both of which are leading causes of death among people living with HIV.
The HOPE Act was introduced earlier this year in the Senate by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Rand Paul (R-KY) and in the House by Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA). HRC has worked alongside several other organizations to ensure this bill becomes law, including AIDS United, amfAR, HIV Medicine Association and the American Medical Association.
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