"Senate Approves HIV Organ Transplant Bill"
Under current U.S. law, it is illegal to use organs from HIV-positive donors for transplantation — or even for medical research. This outdated policy was enacted during the 1980s, amid widespread fear and misunderstanding about HIV/AIDS, and does not reflect modern medical knowledge about the disease. While research has been banned in the United States, South African doctors have successfully transplanted HIV-positive organs into HIV-positive recipients with excellent results.
If the HOPE Act were passed and the Department of Health and Human Services authorized HIV-positive transplants to HIV-positive people, the benefits would be great. Recent controversies surrounding organ transplant policies highlight the scarcity of organs, and having a new pool of donors would save lives. Such a move would provide many of the more than 1.1 million HIV-positive people in the United States with transplants and would shorten wait times for patients without HIV. Additionally, the policy change could save Medicare money by reducing the need for dialysis among patients with kidney failure.
Hannah Slater is an LGBT Progress intern at Center for American Progress