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California Stops Transplant Discrimination

California Stops Transplant Discrimination


A new California law prohibits insurance companies from denying organ transplant coverage solely because a potential recipient is HIV-positive. The law--the first of its kind in the country--addresses the fact that most insurers deny transplant coverage to HIVers because of beliefs that they won't live long enough to benefit from surgery or could not handle the immunosuppressive drugs needed to prevent organ rejection. Many studies, however, have shown that HIVers with well-controlled HIV infections fare just as well as HIV-negative transplant recipients. 'There are many reasons why a patient with HIV may not be suitable for a transplant, but the sole fact that one is HIV-positive is no longer considered a legitimate reason at many transplant centers,' says assemblyman Paul Koretz, the bill's sponsor.

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