Moving from the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act to HIV Organ Policy Equity in action: changing practice and challenging stigma

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Purpose of reviewThe HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act, signed in 2013, reversed the federal ban on HIV-to-HIV transplantation. In this review, we examine the progress in HOPE implementation, the current status of HIV-to-HIV transplantation, and remaining challenges.Recent findingsPursuant to the HOPE Act, the Department of Health and Human Services revised federal regulations to allow HIV-to-HIV transplants under research protocols adherent to criteria published by the National Institutes of Health. The first HIV-to-HIV kidney and liver transplants were performed at Johns Hopkins in March of 2016. Legal and practical challenges remain. Further efforts are needed to educate potential HIV+ donors and to support Organ Procurement Organizations. As of November 2017, there are 22 transplant centers approved to perform HIV-to-HIV transplants in 10 United Network for Organ Sharing regions. To date, 16 Organ Procurement Organizations in 22 states have evaluated HIV+ donors. The National Institutes of Health-funded HOPE in Action: A Multicenter Clinical Trial of HIV-to-HIV Deceased Donor (HIVDD) Kidney Transplantation Kidney Trial will launch at 19 transplant centers in December of 2017. A HOPE in Action Multicenter HIVDD Liver Trial is in development.SummarySignificant progress toward full HOPE implementation has been made though barriers remain. Some challenges are unique to HIV-HIV transplantation, whereas others are amplifications of issues across the current transplant system. In addition to a public health benefit for all transplant candidates in the United States, partnership on the HOPE Act has the potential to address systemic challenges to national donation and transplantation.

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