HIV Organ Transplantation:

HIV Organ transplantation refers to the theoretical idea of transplanting available organs from patients with HIV to other patients also infected with HIV.


Under current federal law, research with HIV-positive organs, including organ transplant research is banned. The ban was passed as an amendment to the National Organ Transplant Act in 1988. Allowing the donation of decreased, HIV-positive organs to HIV-positive patients would save about hundred of lives per year and shorten the waiting list for those uninfected in need of an organ.


The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) asserts that organ transplantation from deceased HIV-positive individuals to living HIV-positive individuals in need of the organs could be accomplished safely and successfully. UNOAS estimates that such research may result in hundreds of other-wise health organs from HIV patients to become available to HIV patients in need of them. These organs would otherwise be discarded.


In 2013, legislation was introduced to lift the federal ban on research into organ donation from HIV-positive donors to HIV-positive recipients.

U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) introduced the HOPE (HIV Organ Policy Equity) Act, S. 330, after working with HIV organizations to develop and craft the legislation, including AAHIVM.

The HOPE Act would amend provisions of the Public Health Service Act that authorize the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish guidelines and quality standards for conducting research relating to donated organs and for acquiring and procuring such organs.

The HOPE Act also authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to review transplant research among HIV patients. The bill also gives HHS the authority to direct the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network of UNOS to develop necessary guidelines for HIV positive transplantations once they deem the research results effective and safe.


“Allowing this ground-breaking research to move forward is a huge victory for many HIV patients in desperate need of a transplant,” stated Friedman. “We commend Senators Boxer and Coburn, as well as co-sponsors Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rand Paul (R-KY), for their outstanding leadership in offering this legislation.”

Letter to UNOS in support of HOPE Act and future inititatives to expand access 12.05.14
Letter from AAHIVM and the HIV/AIDS community expressing support for UNOS’ proposed changes to OPTN regulations.

Letter to Congress Expressing Thanks for the Passage of the HOPE Act 11.13.13
Letter from AAHIVM and the HIV/AIDS community thanking Congress for the passage of the HOPE Act.

Letter to Sentors Boxer and Coburn and Representative Capps Endorsing the HOPE Act 1.18.2013
Letter from AAHIVM and the HIV/AIDS community to the Senators Boxer and Cobur and Representative Capps endorsing the HOPE Act.