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Obama signs bill to allow organ transplant research in HIV patients

A bill co-authored by Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn would allow long-outlawed research on transplants between people infected by HIV.
by Chris Casteel Modified: November 21, 2013 at 6:55 pm •  Published: November 22, 2013
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President signs bill on organ transplant research in HIV patients

President Barack Obama on Thursday signed a bill co-authored by Sen. Tom Coburn to allow federal research on organ donations between people infected by HIV.

Obama said the transplants — and even research on them — have been illegal for decades but that the policy has become outdated.

“The potential for successful organ transplants between people living with HIV has become more of a possibility. The HOPE Act lifts the research ban, and, in time, it could lead to lifesaving organ donations for people living with HIV while ensuring the safety of the organ transplant process and strengthening the national supply of organs for all who need them.”

The bill by Coburn, R-Muskogee, and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., had broad bipartisan support and was easily approved in both houses.

“I applaud the president for signing this important piece of bipartisan legislation into law and am hopeful it produces encouraging results for HIV-positive individuals,” Coburn said.

According to bill sponsors, a study published in the American Journal of Transplantation concluded that allowing organ transplants between HIV-infected people could increase the organ donation pool by 500 to 600 donors a year.

Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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