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Congress is one step closer to lifting the ban on research of organ transplantation from HIV-positive donors to HIV-positive recipients, according to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., who is a cosponsor of the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act which would lift the ban. The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee passed the bill this week.

Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., introduced the HOPE Act in February. The legislation would remove the statutory ban on acquiring HIV-positive organs and open avenues for research to determine the safety of transplanting HIV-positive organs into people with HIV/AIDS.

“I believe that research will show these transplants could be conducted in a safe manner for the patients and the medical staff, with technology and innovation as it is today,” said Enzi. “It’s an opportunity to improve the quality of life and save the lives of many Americans.”

More than 100,000 Americans are currently on the organ transplant waiting list.

“We know much more about HIV than we did when this ban was first instituted,” Enzi said. “We need to be vigilant in how we fight against HIV/AIDS and this legislation would be a great step in that direction.”

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