MedCity News — The House of Representatives passed the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act Nov. 12. Once signed into law, this would allow ‘positive to positive’ organ donations. According to the Human Rights Campaign: “Permitting organs from deceased, HIV-positive donors to be used for transplant to HIV-positive recipients has the potential to save 1,000 HIV-infected patients with liver and kidney failure each year, as well as shortening the general waiting list for uninfected people awaiting transplants.”
Before that happens though, the government–more specifically the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network–must establish clinical and ethical guidelines for research on these kinds of transplants. Dorry Segev, a transplant surgeon who lobbied for the bill, told Nature this process would probably take up to a year.
But the results look promising. A doctor in South Africa has performed nearly 30 positive-to-positive kidney transplants over the last five years, according to Nature. Only two of those have failed. Still, “super” infection and how the drugs taken to suppress HIV symptoms will interact with the transplant drugs, among other concerns, will need to be studied, Nature says.
The Senate passed the act back in June.