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 BoxerSenate Dem blocks own bill over California drought language House passes water bill with Flint aid, drought relief Fight over water bill heats up in Senate MORE (D-Calif.) and Tom CoburnTom CoburnWill Trump back women’s museum? Don't roll back ban on earmarks Ryan calls out GOP in anti-poverty fight 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 BaldwinSenate Dems offer bill to curb tax break for Trump nominees Fight over water bill heats up in Senate Overnight Finance: Funding bill expected tonight | Trump takes on Boeing | House rejects push for IRS impeachment vote | Dow hits new high MORE (D-Wis.), Rand PaulRand PaulTrump stumps for Louisiana Senate candidate ahead of runoff Giuliani won't serve in Trump administration Will justice in America be Trumped? MORE (R-Ky.), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats: Where the hell are You? Dodd-Frank ripe for reform, not repeal Senate Dems offer bill to curb tax break for Trump nominees MORE (D-Mass.), Richard BurrRichard BurrTop Intel Dem: Congress 'far from consensus' on encryption Trump must be an advocate for the Small Business Administration Dems pledge to fight Sessions nomination MORE (R-N.C.) and Mark KirkMark KirkJuan Williams: McConnell won big by blocking Obama Battle for the Senate: Top of ticket dominates The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate MORE (R-Ill.)

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