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Illinois governor signs first HIV organ donation law

Illinois governor signs first HIV organ donation law

Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich on Thursday signed a law that makes the state the first in the nation to allow HIV-positive people to donate their organs to others infected with the virus. The law was approved by the state senate in May and the state house in March. Illinois will now work with the United Network for Organ Sharing--the organization that coordinates the nation's organ transplant system--to change policies that prohibit such procedures. Infected organs are useful for other HIV-positive patients who are living longer because of medical advances, some doctors say. Previously, HIV-positive people in the state--and everywhere else in the United States--were not permitted to donate any organs. "Enactment of this legislation will go a long way toward helping the growing number of people with HIV/AIDS who will face organ failure and need an organ transplant," said David Munar, associate director for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. "Hepatitis-related liver failure is increasingly a problem for people with HIV. Expanding transplant options for them will mean the difference between life and death for these individuals."

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