Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

Congress Votes To End The Outdated Ban On HIV Organ Transplants And Research

By Sy Mukherjee on November 13, 2013 at 9:46 am

"Congress Votes To End The Outdated Ban On HIV Organ Transplants And Research"

Share:

google plus icon
shutterstock_docs surgery

CREDIT: Shutterstock

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives gave final approval to the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act, a bill that will end a 25-year ban on using HIV-positive donors’ organs for any purpose, including medical research. If the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) concludes that transplanting organs between HIV-positive Americans is safe and effective under scientific guidelines set by the law, such transplants will then become legal and it will no longer be a crime for HIV-positive Americans to donate their organs. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law.

The scientific community has long argued that the ban on organ donations between HIV-positive people — and even research using their organs — is an outdated relic from a time when many people were confused and scared about HIV/AIDS. When Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) first introduced the HOPE Act in the Senate, Coburn (himself a physician) noted, “Our scientific understanding of AIDS is much better than when this research ban was established.”

“Those infected with HIV are now living much longer and, as a consequence, are suffering more kidney and liver failures. If research shows positive results, HIV positive patients will have an increased pool of donors,” he added.

Allowing organ transplants between HIV-positive individuals could be a boon to the more than 1.1 million Americans living with HIV. It could also help the 70,000 Americans on transplant lists who don’t get their needed organs every year by widening the pool of organ donors available to HIV-positive Americans who may need a liver, kidney, or heart transplant.

‹ PREVIOUS
Faced With Record HIV Rates, This Florida School District Is Pushing To Expand Sex Ed

NEXT ›
Life In The Rio Grande Valley: Meet The Women Abandoned By Texas And Overlooked By The Media

By clicking and submitting a comment I acknowledge the ThinkProgress Privacy Policy and agree to the ThinkProgress Terms of Use. I understand that my comments are also being governed by Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policies as applicable, which can be found here.