Organs from HIV-Positive Donors Can Now Be Transplanted to Others

But only for research

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

In this May 21, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington./

President Barack Obama signed a law Thursday that will allow people with HIV to donate their organs to other HIV-infected people for research purposes.

A 1984 ban barred any HIV-infected organ transplants, but the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act could make such transplants commonplace if the research is successful. If that happens, the new organ donations could also shorten the waiting times for those who are not infected with the virus, since those who are HIV-positive would have another pool of organs from which to choose.

More than 120,000 people in the U.S. are on waiting lists for organs, and 6,500 people die waiting each year.

[Baltimore Sun]