Hope Act Passes: Milestone in Transplant Policy May Help Reduce U.S. Organ Shortage

Act lifts the ban on transplanting HIV-positive organs to HIV-positive patients

Released: 12-Nov-2013 4:05 PM EST
Source Newsroom: American Society of Nephrology (ASN)
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Highlights
• Passage of the HOPE Act could allow individuals with HIV to receive organ transplants from donors with HIV.
• Such positive-to-positive transplantation may help reduce the country’s current organ shortage.
• The American Society of Nephrology has worked hard to ensure passage of this no-cost legislation that could help reduce kidney transplant waiting times.

More than 105,000 Americans are currently on a transplant waitlist for a kidney.

Newswise — Washington, DC (November 12, 2013) — Congress has passed legislation to end the federal ban on the transplantation of organs from deceased HIV-positive donors to patients with HIV. The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) worked closely with Congress and other organizations to promote the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act. This milestone legislation could add up to 600 organs per year for HIV-infected transplant candidates and expand the total pool of available organs.

Because the HOPE Act will pave the way for research into positive-to-positive transplants, patients with HIV should one day get faster access to a new supply of organs. While HIV is no longer a death sentence, kidney and liver failure is now a leading cause of death of HIV-positive patients.

“This legislation will preserve valuable organs and save lives by establishing guidelines for HIV+ to HIV+ transplants,” said Michelle Josephson, MD, who leads the ASN Transplant Advisory Group.

Other patients on the transplant list will also benefit from expanding the pool of available organs. “The HOPE Act could reduce waiting times for a life-saving transplant, which is why ASN so passionately advocated its passage,” said ASN President Sharon Moe, MD, FASN.

Shamey Cramer, a patient advocate who has been living with HIV for nearly 30 years and was instrumental in advocacy efforts, notes the law will help all patients, both with and without HIV. “The HOPE Act really does give new hope to all patients who are waiting for the gift of life.”

While the HOPE Act does not directly affect federal spending, it has the potential to decrease Medicare spending by providing more opportunities for patients to move off dialysis and receive a kidney transplant.

EXPERTS AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT

Rachel N. Meyer, ASN Manager for Policy and Government Affairs, and HIV patient advocate Shamey Cramer are available for comment on the HOPE Act’s passage. Please contact Kurtis Pivert at 202-699-0238 or kpivert@asn-online.org to arrange interviews.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Founded in 1966, and with more than 14,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.

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