Research ban on HIV-positive organ transplants in Senators' crosshairs

The legislation that cleared the HELP panel Wednesday, known as HOPE Act, was sponsored by Sens. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerTime is now to address infrastructure needs Tom Steyer testing waters for Calif. gubernatorial bid Another day, another dollar for retirement advice rip-offs MORE (D-Calif.) and Tom CoburnTom CoburnThe more complex the tax code, the more the wealthy benefit Congress, stop using our nation's military policy for political purposes Congress must rid itself of political 'pork' to preserve its integrity MORE (R-Okla.), and enjoys support from co-sponsors from both parties.

It would direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a review process to evaluate the latest medical thinking on transplants from HIV-positive donors. If transplants between HIV-positive patients are deemed safe, the HHS Secretary would have authority to direct the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network to establish policies to begin the procedures.

“This legislation will allow sound science to explore organ exchanges between HIV-positive donors and HIV-positive recipient,” Coburn said. “If research shows positive results, HIV-positive patients will have an increased pool of donors.”

Allowing organ transplants between HIV-positive patients could add 500 to 600 people to the donor pool annually, potentially saving hundreds of lives annually, according to a study published in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Co-sponsors on the bill, which moves next to the full Senate, include Sens. Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinSteel industry urges House panel to adopt 'Buy America' rules Major progressive group endorses Martha McSally challenger Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE (D-Wis.), Rand PaulRand PaulMcCain returning to Arizona to start cancer treatment Monday Paul blocks McConnell from setting up defense bill vote Overnight Defense: Military won't lift transgender ban until Trump sends directions | House passes national security spending | Russian sanctions bill heads to Trump MORE (R-Ky.), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Warren'Fox & Friends' hosts criticize Dem selfies after repeal vote Senate heading for late night ahead of ObamaCare repeal showdown Dem senators 'seek assurances' Icahn not swaying regulators on AIG: report MORE (D-Mass.), Richard BurrRichard BurrKushner says he did not collude with Russia, had no improper contacts Dems slam Trump for 'stonewalling' oversight efforts Burr: Nunes 'created' unmasking allegations against Rice MORE (R-N.C.) and Mark KirkMark KirkMcConnell: Senate to try to repeal ObamaCare next week GOP senator: Not 'appropriate' to repeal ObamaCare without replacement GOP's repeal-only plan quickly collapses in Senate MORE (R-Ill.)

It also has the backing of the American Medical Association, and more than a dozen other medical and advocacy groups.