STATEHOUSE— Legislation authored by State Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer (R-Beech Grove) this session increased the availability of a common life-saving procedure. House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1216, which allows individuals with HIV to provide their own stem cells for infusion, was signed into law on Wednesday.
Currently, it is unlawful for an individual to knowingly or intentionally donate blood or a blood component that is positive for HIV. In some life-saving procedures, it is recommended a patient donate his or her own blood for replenishment after the procedure.
“Under the current law, if a patient has HIV, they are not lawfully allowed to donate their own blood for themselves,” said Rep. Kirchhofer. “Many of my constituents voiced their concerns about an individual’s recovery options.”
A stem cell transplant is an infusion of healthy stem cells, which can help the body produce enough white or red blood cells and reduce the risk of life-threatening infections, anemia and bleeding. If an individual with HIV is seeking treatment for cancer, chemotherapy followed by rescue with their own stem cells can be a beneficial treatment strategy.
“Procedures and precautions have been established to safely handle and store blood,” Rep. Kirchhofer said. “Every patient should have the opportunity to take a common life-saving precaution.”
HEA 1216 will be effective July 1, 2012.
Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer serves House District 89. She is the Vice Chair of the Statutory Committee on Interstate and International Cooperation and serves on the Veterans Affairs and Public Safety and Insurance Committees.