Statement from HIVMA Chair Michael Horberg, MD, MAS, FIDSA
As HIV clinicians, researchers, and other health care professionals on the frontlines of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, we applaud the U.S. Senate for unanimously passing bipartisan legislation yesterday that would allow research on organ donation from deceased HIV-infected donors to HIV-infected recipients. The HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act is an important step forward in exploring the use of HIV-infected organ donation as a potentially lifesaving measure for people living with HIV. We now call on the U.S. House of Representatives to take swift action and advance the bill as well.
The HOPE Act would update outdated federal law to reflect the current medical understanding of HIV/AIDS and allow for the scientific research needed to fully evaluate HIV‐infected organ donation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 with liver and kidney failure each year. However, research to explore even the feasibility of such transplants is banned under current federal law.
In addition to helping increase access to transplants for patients infected with HIV, the HOPE Act also has the potential to reduce deaths among all those who are on transplant waiting lists—currently nearly 120,000 patients in the U.S.—and help save Medicare costs, while maintaining provisions that protect public health. (For more information, see HIVMA’s FAQ and policy statement.)
We look forward to working with lawmakers in the House of Representatives on both sides of the aisle to move this important legislation forward.
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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