Obama Signs Bill Lifting Ban On HIV-Positive Organ Donation
We reported earlier this month that Congress has voted to pass the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (HOPE Act), which will allow the donation of HIV-positive organs to HIV-positive recipients.
President Obama signed the legislation into law on Thursday.
"For decades, these organ transplants have been illegal. It was even illegal to study whether they could be safe and effective," Obama said in a statement. "But as our understanding of HIV and effective treatments have grown, that policy has become outdated. The potential for successful organ transplants between people living with HIV has become more of a possibility."
Obama continued, saying that by lifting the ban on HIV-positive organ donations a door has been opened that could "lead to life-saving organ donations for people living with HIV while ensuring the safety of the organ transplant process and strengthening the national supply of organs for all who need them."
According to HRC, more than 100,000 patients are currently waiting for organ transplants, with about 50,000 added each year. Permitting HIV-positive organ transplants in HIV-positive patients with liver or kidney failure could save up to 1,000 people per year.
"Improving care for people living with HIV is critical to fighting the epidemic, and it’s a key goal of my National HIV/AIDS Strategy," Obama said. "The HOPE Act marks an important step in the right direction, and I thank Congress for their action."
Excellent work by all involved on both sides of the political aisle. This legislation will save lives.