HIV+ Organ Donation
It's sobering to realize the number of ways in which old, outdated information about HIV continues to hurt people living with the virus. For instance, a U.S. law on the books since 1988 had forbidden organ donations from HIV-positive people -- even if those organs were going to end up in other HIV-positive people.
Finally, this year, President Obama signed the HIV Organ Policy Equality (HOPE) Act, which gave health care professionals permission to explore how to safely make use of the organs that HIV-positive people are willing to donate.
This might seem like a minor victory, but keep in mind that a large number of HIV-positive people are in need of transplants (often due to long-term liver or kidney damage), and the number of organs available for donation in the U.S. is always far short of the number needed. This policy change could save many lives.
This also represents one more step taken against HIV stigma, and one more vestige eliminated from an era of fear and ignorance that too often still finds its way into our modern discourse about HIV.
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