Sat, Apr 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Bill for HIV-positive organ transplants passes review

Staff writer, with CNA

Draft legislation allowing HIV-positive people to donate organs to HIV-positive patients passed a preliminary review by a legislative committee on Thursday, a move that could save lives.

The HIV Infection Control and Patient Rights Protection Act (人類免疫缺乏病毒傳染防治及感染者權益保障條例) currently bans individuals who are HIV-positive from donating blood and providing organs, tissue, body fluids or cells for transplantation or use by others.

The draft states that HIV patients in need of organ transplants can sign an agreement to accept organs from HIV-positive donors.

The amendment on Thursday passed a preliminary review by the Legislative Yuan’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee.

There is a shortage of organs available for transplant in Taiwan, and the passing of the amendment could help alleviate pressure for some on the waiting list, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said, adding that the amendment would not trigger the spread of HIV, because both the donor and the recipient would be HIV-positive.

The demand for organs far outstrips supply, the Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center said.

There are more than 9,000 people waiting for organ transplants in Taiwan, but only 339 people donated organs nationwide last year, center statistics showed.

Based on statistics from countries that allow such transplants, health officials estimate that about 60 HIV patients might choose to donate their organs each year.

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