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Illinois Allows Organ Donors With HIV

Illinois Allows Organ Donors With HIV


A law signed by Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich in early July permits HIV-positive people in the state for the first time to donate organs to others infected with the virus. No other state permits HIVers to donate organs or any bodily tissues for fear of infecting recipients. The legislation, written by state representative Larry McKeon, says that as HIVers are living longer on highly active antiretroviral therapy, they are experiencing more organ damage from their medications and other ailments'like hepatitis'and thus needing organ transplants in increasing numbers. Illinois officials are now working with the United Network for Organ Sharing, the organization that oversees the nation's organ transplant system and currently refuses organs from HIV-positive donors, to revamp its rules to permit such donations in the state.

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