Arthur Bergman / CC BY SA 2.0

HIV-Positive Patients In California Can Now Get Organ Transplants

Lawmakers passed emergency legislation that allows organ transplants between HIV-positive patients.

By Melissa Prax | May 28, 2016

HIV-positive patients in California can now participate in organ transplants with other HIV-infected patients under a new law passed Friday. Before, such an organ donation was a felony. 

Lawmakers passed the emergency legislation after an HIV-positive man was rejected from receiving part of his husband's liver — putting him in a potentially dangerous health situation.

The doctor who lobbied for the California law says there are more than 60 patients with HIV in the state who need a transplant. HIV-positive people have a higher risk of kidney or liver failure.

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A federal act signed in 2013 allowed researchers to study the safety of organ transplants to HIV-positive patients. 

And at the end of March, Johns Hopkins Medicine got the approval to perform the first transplants between HIV-positive patients. 

As for the new California law, it goes into effect immediately, and the the HIV-positive patient in need of a transplant will undergo surgery "as soon as possible."

This video includes clips from Johns Hopkins Medicine and images from Arthur Bergman / CC BY SA 2.0The White House / Lawrence Jackson and NIAID / CC BY 2.0. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

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