March 22, 2013
On Wednesday, March 20, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee met for a markup of the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (S.330), ultimately approving the bipartisan bill that would lift a federal ban on the donation of HIV-positive organs to HIV-positive recipients and allow researchers to study the safety of such procedures. The bill, sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Tom Coburn, (R-OK), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Rand Paul (R-KY), more accurately represents the science and knowledge about HIV available to us today and would reduce waiting times for those HIV-positive as well as HIV-negative people in need of organ transplants. In September 2011, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published guidelines recommending further research in this area, but the outdated National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 prohibited such research in the United States. AIDS United applauds the Senate HELP Committee's approval of this bill, which could potentially save hundreds of lives each year by granting HIV-positive people access to organs that, under current law, could not be used.
You can read the full text of the bill here.