HIV+ deceased donor referrals: A national survey of organ procurement organizations

Ayla Cash, Xun Luo, Eric K.H. Chow, Mary Grace Bowring, Ashton A. Shaffer, Brianna Doby, Corey E. Wickliffe, Charles Alexander, Deborah McRann, Aaron A.R. Tobian, Dorry L. Segev, Christine M. Durand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: HIV-infected (HIV+) donor organs can be transplanted into HIV+ recipients under the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act. Quantifying HIV+ donor referrals received by organ procurement organizations (OPOs) is critical for HOPE Act implementation. Methods: We surveyed the 58 USA OPOs regarding HIV+ referral records and newly discovered HIV+ donors. Using data from OPOs that provided exact records and CDC HIV prevalence data, we projected a national estimate of HIV+ referrals. Results: Fifty-five (95%) OPOs reported HIV+ referrals ranging from 0 to 276 and newly discovered HIV+ cases ranging from 0 to 10 annually. Six OPOs in areas of high HIV prevalence reported more than 100 HIV+ donor referrals. Twenty-seven (47%) OPOs provided exact HIV+ referral records and 28 (51%) OPOs provided exact records of discovered HIV+ cases, totaling 1450 HIV+ referrals and 39 discovered HIV+ donors in the prior year. These OPOs represented 67% and 59% of prevalent HIV cases in the USA; thus, we estimated 2164 HIV+ referrals and 66 discovered HIV+ cases nationally per year. Conclusions: OPOs reported a high volume of HIV+ referrals annually, of which a subset will be medically eligible for donation. Particularly in areas of high HIV prevalence, OPOs require ongoing support to implement the HOPE Act.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13171
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • deceased donors
  • organ transplantation
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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