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Obama signs bill lifting research ban on HIV organ transplants

Thursday, November 21, 2013
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Evan Vucci, AP
President Barack Obama speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, after signing S. 330: the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act. From left are, Dr. Peter Stock, president-elect of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. and Dr. Dan Salomon, president of the American Society of Transplantation.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has lifted a ban on research into the possibility of transplanting organs from one HIV-positive person to another.

Obama signed a bill into law Thursday that directs the federal health department to develop and institute standards for conducting such research.

It also permits the health secretary to allow such transplants if the research results warrant a change. The safety of the organ transplant process also must be protected.

Obama says the HOPE Act is an important step because it will help improve medical care for people living with HIV.

Advocacy groups note that, like other Americans, HIV-positive people are living longer. The groups also note that the number of people waiting for organs far exceeds the number of organs available for transplant.

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