The HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act is one step closer to becoming law in Michigan, after the bill was unanimously referred out of the Senate Health Committee on Thursday. The legislation will now head to the full Senate for a vote. It will allow organs from potential donors with HIV to be transplanted into HIV-positive patients.
“I am encouraged that this bill was received so well by the Senate Health Committee,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s federally designated organ procurement program.
“Every time someone in our state receives a life-saving transplant, that means one less person is waiting and there is more hope for those still in need. I urge the Senate to approve this measure as soon as possible.”
The HOPE Act was enacted nationally in 2015, but efforts to enact it here in Michigan have been unsuccessful. State Rep. Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield Township), who serves on the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, introduced it in the House of Representatives in March and it was approved by the House in July.
“We are so fortunate to live in a state that is home to talented medical researchers and transplant teams who work every day to improve the science of saving lives through organ donation,” she said at the time. “This bill simply brings the state in line with federal law and frees up additional organs for Michiganders.”
Since 2015, 21 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the legislation. Transplants between HIV-positive donors and HIV-positive patients now take place at 36 hospitals and transplant centers across the country.
Watch a livestream conversation with Rep. Felicia Brabec and an HIV-positive transplant recipient.