The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the HIV Organ Policy Equity ( HOPE ) Act, a measure that allows individuals with HIV to receive organs from other HIV-positive donors, according to The Plain Dealer.
In June, the Senate passed the act, which eliminates longstanding regulations prohibiting the procurement of organs from HIV-positive people. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the measure into law. Currently, if a dead individual is found to have HIV, he or she is eliminated from consideration.
The AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) released a statement applauding the passage of the HOPE Act, with CEO David Ernesto Munar calling it "a tremendous victory."
Munar also remembered the late Rep. Larry McKeon, a member of the Illinois House from 1997 to 2008. "Larry, with AFC's help, championed this issue in Illinois years ago, bringing large-scale attention to organ donations from people with HIV," Munar said. "This is, in some ways, his work coming full circle."
McKeon died from a stroke in 2008 while working in Springfield. He was Illinois' first openly gay, openly HIV-positive representative.