Lawmakers in the House of Representatives took an important step forward today by advancing bipartisan legislation that would allow research on organ donation from deceased HIV-infected donors to HIV-infected recipients. As HIV clinicians, researchers, and health care providers, we applaud the House Energy and Commerce Committee for passing the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act and call on the full House to take swift action and pass the bill as well. The Senate approved the legislation in June by unanimous consent.
The HOPE Act would update outdated federal law to reflect the current medical understanding of HIV/AIDS and allow for the scientific research needed to fully evaluate HIV‐infected organ donation to HIV‐infected patients. For patients living with HIV, deceased donors who are also HIV infected may represent a unique source of organs that could save the lives of hundreds of HIV-infected patients struggling with liver and kidney failure each year. However, research to explore even the feasibility of such transplants is banned under current federal law.
This important bipartisan legislation, in addition to helping increase access to transplants for HIV-infected patients and supporting medical progress, also has the potential to reduce deaths among those who are on transplant waiting lists and to help save Medicare costs, while maintaining provisions that protect public health.
The HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) applauds the HOPE Act’s co-sponsors and supporters, and we look forward to working with House lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass this potentially lifesaving legislation into law. (For more information, see HIVMA’s related FAQ (PDF) and policy statement (PDF).)
The HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) is the professional home for more than 5,000 physicians, scientists, and other health care professionals dedicated to the field of HIV/AIDS. Nested within the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), HIVMA promotes quality in HIV care and advocates policies that ensure a comprehensive and humane response to the AIDS pandemic informed by science and social justice. For more information, visit www.hivma.org.
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