LANSING, Mich., March 11, 2021 — State Rep. Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield) introduced legislation this week that would amend the Michigan Public Health Code to allow organs from HIV-positive donors to be transplanted into recipients who are also HIV-positive, in alignment with the federal HOPE Act.

“We are so fortunate to live in a state that is home to talented medical researchers and transplant teams who work every day to improve the science of saving lives through organ donation,” said Brabec. “Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s federally approved organ and tissue donation program, already recovers organs from HIV-positive donors under the federal HOPE Act. This bill simply brings the state in line with federal law and frees up additional organs for Michiganders waiting for this life-saving gift.”

The HOPE Act was enacted nationally in 2015, but Michigan has yet to amend the state Public Health Code to align with the federal standard. Since 2015, 19 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the legislation. Transplants between HIV-positive donors and HIV-positive patients take place at 30 hospitals and transplant centers across the country. Several state organizations have expressed their support for this legislation including Gift of Life Michigan and Michigan Medicine.

“Without the HOPE Act in Michigan, we must send life-saving organs out-of-state instead of saving patients here,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “This important legislation would allow organs from HIV-positive donors to be transplanted into recipients who are also HIV- positive within the State of Michigan. Along with all nine of our state’s organ transplant centers, I urge the legislature to pass this bill as soon as possible. It will save lives.”

“If HIV-positive recipients were able to receive organs from HIV-positive donors in Michigan, they might receive a transplant sooner,” says Daniel Kaul, professor of internal medicine and director of transplant infectious disease at Michigan Medicine. “HIV-negative Michiganders would also benefit as the total pool of available organs would increase. At Michigan Medicine, we fully support this much-needed update to state law, which would allow us to perform more transplants and save more lives.”