Taiwan may begin allowing HIV-positive organ transplants next year

Taipei, Taiwan may begin allowing HIV-positive individuals to donate organs to HIV-positive patients sometime next year, Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center Chairman Lee Po-chang said Friday, hoping that the necessary legislation will be passed.

In May, the Legislative Yuan passed an amendment to the HIV Infection Control and Patient Rights Protection Act that gave HIV-positive patients the choice to give their consent to receiving organs from a donor with HIV.

Before the HIV-positive organ transplants can become reality, however, the Regulation Governing the Transplantation and Allocation of Human Organs and another rule pertaining to the donor and recipient still need to be revised, according to Lee.

There are currently five HIV-positive patients on the waiting list for organs. Two of them need liver transplants, two need lungs, and the other needs a cornea, he said.

The lifting of such restrictions will help save more lives, Lee stressed, saying that he expects the two remaining amendments to be completed next year.

Chuang Jen-hsiang, deputy director-general of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), said meanwhile that once restrictions are lifted, HIV-positive patients who wish to donate or receive organs will still need to meet other criteria.

They will still have to have a CD4 cell count of greater than 200 for at least 6 months and not have any other fatal infections or tumors, he said.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council