When I was diagnosed with HIV, a friend said “You’re an organ donor aren’t you? You’d better change that.”
I agreed, and changed my driver’s license organ donor status (goodbye, little red heart!). But in the back of my mind I wondered “Why couldn’t I donate to other HIV+ people should they need it? Surely having an infected organ and a few more years of life would be worth it.” Especially now, when HIV (unlike, say Hepatitis C) is a very medically treatable disease. Not a picnic, but neither is renal failure
Is it worse to have HIV than having to undergo weekly dialysis? Or to have a heart that works, or a liver, etc.? And if you already have HIV and need an organ, does it make sense that HIV+ donors be excluded?
Now it seems the feds are starting to think about the same things. According to The New York Times, The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention are about to issue new guidelines that will allow the study of HIV+ organ donation and transplantation.
It’s about time. Literally.
What do you think? If it were about saving your life, would you accept an HIV+ organ?