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Winter 2014

New HOPE for People with HIV

Date: February 1, 2014

Work by researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine helped pave the way for a new law that reverses the longtime ban on letting HIV-infected people donate their organs for transplantation after death. Signed in December by President Barack Obama, the HOPE (HIV Organ Policy Equity) Act offers promise to thousands of HIV patients on transplant waiting lists.

Efforts to change the law came after Hopkins transplant surgeon Dorry Segev and research assistant Brian Boyarsky published a scientific paper in 2011 that estimated that 500 HIV-infected patients would be eligible for lifesaving transplants each year if the ban was overturned, and that allowing those transplants would also shorten wait times for non-HIV-infected patients. The researchers offered medical guidance and worked with politicians from both sides of the aisle in Congress, as well as with advocacy groups, such as the HIV Medicine Association, to ensure passage of the bill.