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HOPE Act impact continues at five-year milestone

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UNOS News Bureau

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Five years after its implementation, the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (also known as the HOPE Act) has continued to provide transplant opportunities for candidates with HIV who are willing to accept organ offers from donors identified as HIV-positive.

Through September 2020, 24 hospitals participating in HOPE Act protocols have performed a total of 223 transplants (170 kidney and 53 liver transplants).

A total of 112 donors identified as HIV-positive have had at least one organ transplanted. Two kidney transplants were made possible through living organ donation.

The HOPE Act, signed into law November 21, 2013, called for the use of organs from HIV-positive donors for transplantation into HIV-positive candidates under approved research protocols designed to evaluate the feasibility, effectiveness and safety of such organ transplants.

The provisions of the Act took effect on November 21, 2015. Initially the protocol only authorized kidney and liver transplants. In a recent update, implemented in May 2020, organs of any type may now be transplanted under HOPE Act protocols.

As of November 2020, 30 transplant hospitals are enrolled with the OPTN to participate in HOPE Act research. Participating hospitals must conduct transplants under IRB-approved research protocols conforming to the Final Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act Safeguards and Research Criteria for Transplantation of Organs Infected with HIV, which were developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of the National Institutes of Health.

Organ procurement organizations are able to run matches for HIV-positive donors. The only candidates who will appear on match runs for these donor offers will be those listed at transplant programs that have an IRB-approved protocol, and whose HIV status and willingness to accept an HIV positive organ has been confirmed.

Learn more about the HOPE Act and related OPTN policy.