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Obama lifts research ban on HIV-positive organ transplants

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Nov. 21, 2013: President Barack Obama speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, after signing S. 330: the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act.

President Barack Obama has lifted a ban on research into the possibility of transplanting organs from one HIV-positive person to another.

Obama signed a bill into law Thursday that directs the federal health department to develop and institute standards for conducting such research. It also permits the health secretary to allow such transplants if the research results warrant a change. The safety of the organ transplant process also must be protected.

Obama says the HOPE Act is an important step because it will help improve medical care for people living with HIV.

Advocacy groups note that, like other Americans, HIV-positive people are living longer. The groups also note that the number of people waiting for organs far exceeds the number of organs available for transplant.