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Congress Passes Bill To Lift Ban on HIV Positive-To-Positive Organ Transplants

Progress! Legislation lifting the federal ban on the donation of HIV-positive organs to HIV-positive recipients has passed in both the Senate and the House of Representatives with bipartisan support!

According to the Human Rights Campaign: 

The HOPE Act passed the Senate earlier this year and faced no opposition. The bill now heads to President Obama to sign into law.

“The bipartisan passage of the HOPE Act will fundamentally improve the quality of healthcare available for people living with HIV and AIDS,” said Allison Herwitt, HRC’s Vice President for Government Affairs. “By removing these antiquated barriers to transplants, the lives of hundreds of people living with HIV and AIDS can be saved each year.”

The HOPE Act enjoyed bipartisan support in both chambers - in the Senate it was introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rand Paul (R-KY), and in the House, Reps. Lois Capps (D-CA) and Andy Harris (R-MD) were the lead cosponsors. 

Currently, more than 100,000 patients are actively waiting for life-saving organs and about 50,000 more are added annually. Permitting organs from HIV-positive donors to be used for transplant in HIV-infected patients with liver or kidney failure could save as many as 1,000 people each year. 

Upon the President's signature the Department of Health and Human Services and the Organ Procurement Transplant Network (OPTN) will develop and institute standards for research on HIV-positive organ transplantation.

Per the research, the Secretary will be allowed to permit positive-to-positive organ transplants if it is determined that the results of research warrant such a change. The OPTN will also be required to develop standards to ensure that positive-to-positive transplantation does not impact the safety of the organ transplantation network.

Good news across the board! And it's great to see bipartisan support for this type of legislation!


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