July 16, 2004
In the past, people living with HIV were not considered good candidates for organ donations because of their reduced life expectancy, the Times reports. Advancements in drug treatments, however, have extended life expectancies of potential HIV-positive organ recipients, according to the Times (Davey, New York Times, 7/16). "As we learn more about HIV and AIDS, and the medications used to manage the disease, we need to be willing to explore new ways to treat and care for those with the devastating illness," Blagojevich said (Chicago Tribune, 7/16). According to AIDS Foundation of Chicago Associate Director David Munar, the legislation will "go a long way toward helping the growing number of people with HIV/AIDS who will face organ failure and need an organ transplant" (AFC release, 7/15). However, some opponents of the bill said that the legislation could lead to the mistaken transplant of an HIV-infected organ into an HIV-negative individual (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/7). The only group that publicly opposed the law was the Illinois State Medical Society, which said language should be included in the legislation to prevent doctors from being held liable if an HIV-negative patient accidentally contracted HIV during a transplant, according to the Tribune (Chicago Tribune, 7/16). Dr. Robert Harland, transplant surgeon at the University of Chicago, added that it could be possible for an HIV-positive patient to be infected with a different strand of the virus through an organ transplant. "This is in its infancy," he said, adding, "It's totally unknown at this point in time" (New York Times, 7/16).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.