AST Supported HIV Organ Transplant Legislation Passed U.S. Senate Last Night - We Need Your Support Today

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

* CALL TO ACTION - Contact Your House Member *

Last night the U.S. Senate passed the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act by a unanimous vote. As you know, the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and Washington, DC office have advocated strongly for this bill on Capitol Hill. The Society was most instrumental in securing key Majority support for the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives and has been working collectively with all stakeholders to build bipartisan and bicameral support for the bill. AST is also hosting a meeting of all the HOPE Act stakeholders next week in our DC offices to discuss and coordinate strategy to secure final passage for the legislation in the House.

AST applauds Dr. Dorry Segev, Johns Hopkins University (JHU), as well as the more than 40 other organizations including AIDS/HIV groups, Human Rights Campaign, and transplant community for their steadfast support and commitment to advancing this important legislation.

We Need Your Help Today! Please take a moment today and call the House of Representatives' switchboard (202) 225-3121.Ask to be connected to the office of your Member of the House. When connected, identify yourself as a transplant professional and constituent from the Member's Congressional District. Ask to speak with the Healthcare Legislative Assistant and request that their boss/your Member of Congress co-sponsor H.R. 698, The HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act.

The House bill, H.R. 698, is sponsored by Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA) and Congressman Dr. Michael Burgess (R-TX)

What is the HOPE Act?
* The bill passed the U.S. Senate by unanimous vote on June 17th and now awaits passage in the House of Reps.

The HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act would permit donated, HIV-positive organs to be used for transplantation in HIV-positive patients, a medical procedure currently prohibited by federal law. The HOPE Act directs the Department of Health and Human Services and the Organ Procurement Transplant Network (OPTN) to develop and institute standards for research on HIV-positive organ transplantation and permits the Secretary to permit positive-to-positive transplantation if it is determined that the results of research warrant such a change. The Secretary would be required to direct OPTN to develop standards to ensure that positive-to-positive transplantation does not impact the safety of the organ transplantation network. In addition, the Act amends federal criminal law regarding HIV transmission to clarify that such organ donations are not barred.