Lamont Valentin was a man with a wife and son who needed a lung transplant to survive. He spent the past few weeks trying to get one of the 10 NYC-area transplant centers to commit to performing his lung transplant and add him to the national organ donor registry. But because he was living with HIV, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and other NYC hospitals refused to perform his lung transplant, denying him access to the national organ donor registry, which could have saved his life. Lamont died on Dec 3, leaving his son without a father.
Lamont was born with HIV in 1984 and was regularly told that he would not survive into adulthood. Despite these predictions, Lamont’s HIV became under control. In 2012, before the birth of his son, he became ill due to long term lung afflictions that he developed at a young age. His health deteriorated to the point where he needed a lung transplant. None of these health issues were due to his being HIV+, and yet, HIV was used as the reason by NY-Presbyterian for denying him a transplant.
HIV status has not been proven as a determining factor for a person’s health post-transplant, and yet, NYC-area hospitals continue to regard HIV as a life-threatening condition across the board, even while hospitals in other states regularly perform organ transplants on HIV+ people.
ACT UP demands that NY Presbyterian and other NYC transplant centers commit to performing life-saving transplants on all qualified New Yorkers regardless of their HIV status.
Join ACT UP in raising the public’s awareness about the injustice Lamont suffered leading up to his death and about how New York’s outdated transplant guidelines could send more people living with HIV to an early death.
Date: Wed Dec 18
Location: Rockefeller Center (meet up location TBD)
Why: Share Lamont’s story and demand that NY-area hospitals perform organ transplants on qualified HIV+ people
Directions: Take the B,D,F,M to Rockefeller Center
ACT UP New York meets every Monday night at 7pm at the LGBT Center on 13th St.