In the UK launched a public investigation into the infection of thousands of Britons HIV and hepatitis after blood transfusion. The first testimony was given affected patients.

Photo: Daria Burykina, TUT.BY

A public inquiry should find out how about five thousand people with hemophilia and other problems of blood clotting disorder were infected with HIV and hepatitis C in the 1970-ies and 1980-ies in the UK after medical procedures.

Presumably, about three thousand of them have already died.

How is that possible?

In the early 1970s in the UK began to use new cure for hemophilia blood products. Until then, patients had to stay in the hospital for a blood transfusion, even for minor injuries. Blood products (individual components of the plasma that promotes blood clotting) was given to patients much greater mobility.

Blood products were brought from the United States . The plasma they were obtained from donors, among which was including prisoners and drug addicts, who sold his blood for a living. In this plasma could contain viruses human immunodeficiency (HIV) and hepatitis.

In the mid-80s blood products were subjected to heat treatment, which killed all the viruses.

Questions about why didn’t do this before, as contaminated drugs were in treatment and who should be held accountable, still remain open.

Since 1991, the blood is carefully checked. In the late 90s they stopped using it was invented other safer methods for the treatment of hemophilia.

A public inquiry could take several years. Many of the victims first public talk about how it happened.

“We were betrayed and lied”

One of the victims who agreed to give comments Bi-bi-si, contracted HIV from her husband. He suffered from hemophilia and received infected blood in the treatment. Her husband had died. She hopes to live to the end of the investigation.

“Just imagine that it was the mid-80s, the climate of fear, discrimination and absolute rejection of such diagnoses as AIDS and HIV. We were both shocked and completely crushed by this news,” says the woman.

Another victim — the Steve Dumond, 60. Initially Steve had minor symptoms of hemophilia. With proper treatment he could live an active and healthy life.

In the late 80s, doctors said suspected he had HIV. After 18 months of examination, he said everything was fine and then diagnosed with hepatitis C.

He suffered from bleeding in the stomach, hearing loss and severe liver damage that can later lead to cancer. According to Steve, all patients feel that they are “betrayed and lied”. He believes that the state, doctors and medical companies are trying to absolve themselves of responsibility for what happened.


The British government was criticized for the fact that the authorities deliberately ignore the information about the mass infection of HIV and hepatitis C. In 1989, some of the affected patients have started to pay compensation. While public investigation into the incident was carried out.

Held and non-state investigation. One of them was initiated by a member of the labour party Peter Archer, but he had no official status and the possibility to request the documents needed.

Another investigation for seven years led the government of Scotland. The results, published in 2015, criticized, the authors were accused of censorship and concealment of the facts.

Former health Minister Andrew Burnham has also called to understand the situation. Speaking in Parliament, he said that the case could be the result of a criminal conspiracy.