March 15, 2004
The Illinois House on Friday approved 95-22 a bill (HB 3857) that would allow HIV-positive residents to donate their organs to other residents living with HIV, the AP/St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The bill, which awaits a vote in the state Senate, would make Illinois the first state to allow organ transplants between HIV-positive people. However, Illinois would continue to have to work with the United Network for Organ Sharing -- which manages the U.S. organ transplant system -- to revise rules that bar organ transplants that involve HIV/AIDS patients. Under current rules, organs from HIV-positive people are discarded. However, some physicians maintain that HIV-infected organs could help extend the lives of HIV-positive patients. Dr. Robert Murphy, a professor of infectious diseases at Northwestern University, said, "The original law was actually put in place for a very good reason," but he added that "nobody thought through the fact that an HIV[-positive] person might actually benefit from the infected organ." State Rep. Larry McKeon (D), who sponsored the bill and is HIV-positive, said that the legislation is "about saving lives and prolonging lives." However, some opponents of the bill said that the legislation could lead to the mistaken transplant of an HIV-infected organ into an HIV-negative individual (Skalski, AP/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/13).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.