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HOPE Act Update: First transplants performed

Published on: Saturday, March 26, 2016

Two transplants have been performed under the provisions of the federal HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (also known as the HOPE Act) in the four months since its implementation. Three transplant hospitals have enrolled with the OPTN to participate in research studies, and five candidates have been listed to receive transplants to date.

The HOPE Act permits 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.

On March 30, an announcement was made that two transplants (one liver, one kidney) have recently been performed for candidates approved under the provisions of the HOPE Act. The transplant recipients were among a total of five transplant candidates who had been listed at participating hospitals and who were willing to accept organ offers from HIV-positive donors.

As of March 30, the following hospitals have enrolled to participate in an OPTN variance under the HOPE Act:

  • Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore
  • Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia
  • Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City

Any participating hospital 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 kidney or liver has been confirmed.

Learn more about the HOPE Act and OPTN policy.