The HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, or HOPE Act, requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop guidelines for research on the transplantation of kidneys and livers from individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) into patients with end stage organ failure who are also infected with HIV. Although signed into law in 2013, the guidelines were not finalized until November 2015. Currently, 18 transplant centers that wish to participate in this research have received Institutional Review Board approval. The HOPE Act is expected to expand the donor pool by approximately 500 to 600 per year in the United States and reduce wait times for HIV-infected patients as well as those not infected with the virus. South Africa, a country that began HIV+ to HIV+ transplants several years ago, has demonstrated encouraging patient and graft survival rates. The extent to which these results will be replicated in the United States is unknown. The outcomes experienced by patients and transplant centers that participate in the HOPE Act research will determine if the practice of transplanting HIV-infected organs will one day be considered for more widespread use in the United States.
Keywords: ESRD; HIV; HIV Organ Policy Equity Act; HOPE Act; end stage renal disease; human immunodeficiency virus; organ transplantation.
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