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10 Moments That Changed HIV Care This Year

December 13, 2013


HIV+ Organ Donation

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It's sobering to realize the number of ways in which old, outdated information about HIV continues to hurt people living with the virus.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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Reader Comments:

Comment by: P. Kevin Parker (Cypress, CA) Sat., Feb. 15, 2014 at 6:53 am UTC
The article summary states that testing patients only once a year for CD4 counts will save the medical industry $41,000 per patient. That's not what the original research said, according to the full article. The researcher calculated the medical savings of only one test per year in the 550 enrolled in the study's cohort. Not per patient.
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Comment by: Reader (Chicago) Mon., Jan. 27, 2014 at 7:37 pm UTC
The most important point of the "Baby Cure Commotion" should have been stated as the fact that the treatment guidelines were ignored.

What that tells us is that far too little effort/resources have been directed at very early treatment over the last two decade.

And where is the mention of the latest news that HIV is not directly killing CD4+ T cells?

That news tells us that far too little effort/resources have been directed at the pathogenesis of HIV/AIDS. The argument that "researchers were simply looking in the wrong place" (and missed the main pathogenic mechanism) is an excuse that begs for better over-sight of HIV/AIDS research in general.

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