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Should ban on HIV-positive organ transplants be lifted?

Plain Dealer, September 13, 2011

As of Aug. 29, nearly 112,000 people in the United States are on the waiting list for an organ transplant. As many as a few hundred of those patients are HIV-positive. To address the extreme shortage of organs available for patients on the national transplant waiting list, four major organizations have joined forces to call for the end of the universal ban on transplants from HIV-infected deceased donors. Lifting the ban, they hope, will allow HIV-positive patients quicker access to suitable organs. That, in turn, could ease the wait, however slightly, for everyone else on the list. In July, the four groups -- the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, American Society of Transplantation, Association of Organ Procurement Organizations and the United Network for Organ Sharing -- released a joint statement urging for a change in the law that prohibits the procurement of organs from HIV-positive people.