Lambda Legal to Represent HIV-Positive Man Who Was Denied Insurance Coverage for Kidney Transplant
September 24, 2003
Lambda Legal, a national gay-rights group, on Monday filed a formal appeal with the not-for-profit HMO Kaiser Permanente on behalf of 53-year-old John Carl of Denver, Colo., challenging the company's refusal to provide insurance coverage for Carl's kidney transplant because he is HIV-positive, the Associated Press reports. Carl, who tested HIV-positive in 1988, takes antiretroviral drugs and was in good health until 2001, when he experienced kidney failure. Carl has undergone kidney dialysis three times per week since 2001. Officials from not-for-profit HMO Kaiser Permanente said that the transplant would be "too risky" because the drugs used to suppress organ rejection could harm Carl's already weakened immune system, according to the Associated Press. "What our doctors are concerned about with organ transplants is that after the operation, some pretty powerful immunosuppressant drugs are given," Kaiser spokesperson Steve Krizman said, adding, "They're worried they might be harmful for someone who already has a compromised immune system." According to the Associated Press, recent studies have shown that organ transplant survival rates are similar among HIV-positive patients and HIV-negative patients.
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.