Organ donation and transplantation between HIV-positive people is now legal in the state of California.
On May 27, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1408, a new piece of legislation that protects surgeons who transplant organs from HIV-positive donors into HIV-positive patients from being penalized by the state’s medical board. President Barack Obama’s HOPE Act technically reversed the federal ban on this procedure back in 2013, but as Medical Daily previously reported, there’s been a delay in uptake. Apparently the National Institutes of Health needed time to “properly iron out the act’s guidelines,” so up until now in California, doctors were criminals and even faced jail time if they condoned HIV transplantation and donation, Tech Times reported.
The surgeons at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore had a similar feeling in March when they were approved to conduct the first HIV-positive organ transplant in the U.S. Dr. Dorry Segev, an associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins, told NPR that both HIV-positive and negative patients would benefit from the ban reversal when it comes to the organ transplant waiting list.
“Imagine now we take hundreds or maybe thousands of people off of the list, then everybody behind them moves forward,” he said. “So people with HIV are benefited directly and everybody else on the list is benefitted indirectly. And we’re all very excited to get started.”