A Community-Driven Framework to Prioritize the Use of Donated Human Biological Materials in the Context of HIV Cure-Related Research at the End of Life

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Karine Dubé
Thomas J. Villa
Jeff Taylor
Andy Kaytes
David J. Moore
Susan J. Little
Antoine Chaillon
Davey M. Smith
Sara Gianella


Initiated in 2017 after extensive community engagement, the Last Gift program enrolls altruistic volunteers willing to donate their cells and tissues at the end of life to allow studies on HIV reservoir dynamics across anatomical sites. As the Last Gift team received tissue requests outside the scope of HIV cure research, we noticed the absence of guiding frameworks to help prioritize the use of altruistically donated human biological materials. In this commentary, we present a proposed framework for prioritizing the use of donated human biological materials within and outside the end-of-life (EOL) HIV cure research context, using the Last Gift study as an example. First, we discuss regulatory and policy considerations, and highlight key ethical values to guide prioritization decisions. Second, we present our prioritization framework and share some of our experiences prioritizing requests for donated human biological materials within and outside EOL HIV cure research. 


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