During the 1970s and 1980s thousands of haemophiliacs were treated with Factor VIII, extracted from blood plasma donated by high-risk sources including prisoners, intravenous drug users and cadavers. By the early 1970’s Hepatitis was known to be potentially fatal and by 1983 the risk of HIV infection was known and yet patients were not told of the risk and continued to be treated with Factor VIII.
Collins Solicitors, acting for victims and their families, believe that compelling new evidence has now been uncovered shedding light on this scandal and the efforts made by the Department of Health to keep matters under wraps and demands that the Government convene a full Public Inquiry into what went so disastrously wrong for so long.
It is estimated that approximately 4,670 haemophiliacs were infected with Hepatitis C whilst 1,243 also contracted HIV, many of whom progressed to AIDS. The government’s failure to act is estimated to have caused over 1,700 Haemophiliac deaths nationwide so far and many victims, including Jonathan Evans, died too early to be subjected to modern life-prolonging medication. Fewer than 250 of the Haemophiliacs who were “co-infected” with both Hepatitis C & HIV remain alive and they face a lifetime on medication having to cope with both a serious illness and truly shocking discrimination.
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