The Hope Act passed in Oklahoma in 2017 allows HIV positive organ donors to donate to someone waiting for a lifesaving transplant who is also HIV positive.
Hypertension or increased blood pressure is a serious condition that can lead to coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke and kidney disease. According to the CDC, approximately 39% of adults with uncontrolled hypertension are unaware they have the condition. In Oklahoma, 36% of adults have been told by a healthcare provider that they have had hypertension. Having hypertension does not mean an individual can’t register to be an organ donor.
There is no age limit to organ donation. The oldest donor in the U.S. was 93 years old! In 2018, one out of every three people who donated organs was over the age of 50. There are many older people on the transplant list whose lives could be extended by an organ transplant. In 2018, more than 62% of people who received organ transplants were 50 years or older and over 21% were 65 or older.
Approximately 7,000 individuals in Oklahoma and 10,000 HIV+ individuals across the U.S. could benefit from an organ transplant. Over 100 transplants have taken place in the U.S. between HIV+ donors and HIV+ recipients since 2015. Persons living with HIV have the same lifespan as a person who does not have HIV when treated effectively. Organ recipients from HIV+ donors have equal outcomes as donors who were not HIV+. Donors with HIV can save the lives of recipients living with HIV.
LifeShare had 13 HCV+ donors in 2018 and 21 organs transplanted. Over 1,000 donations from donors with hepatitis took place in the U.S. last year. Donors with HCV may be able to save the life of a recipient with HCV. New research in Canada has also shown promise in transplanting organs from donors who have HCV to recipients who do not have HCV using newer antiviral medications. Baby boomers are five times more likely to have hepatitis and are also the majority of those waiting for a transplant.
Although some medical conditions like kidney disease are associated with obesity, many organs can still be transplanted from individuals who are above the recommended weight for their height. In some cases of living donation there is a cap on weight but there is no cap on weight for deceased organ donation.