Gareth Lewis: 'I had my house painted with 'Aids scum''
A public inquiry has condemned the failings that led to thousands of people being infected with HIV and hepatitis C from contaminated blood.
The independent privately-funded inquiry called the use of contaminated blood products to treat patients with haemophilia a "horrific human tragedy".
The report suggested UK authorities had been slow to react, but accepted it was hard to directly apportion blame.
In the 1970s and 1980s, nearly 5,000 people were exposed to hepatitis C.
Of these, more than 1,200 were also infected with HIV.
Almost 2,000 of those people have since died as a result.
Haydn Lewis, 52, from Cardiff, is a haemophiliac who became infected with HIV and hepatitis C from tainted blood. He is now on the waiting list for a liver transplant, and believes he infected his wife because doctors delayed telling him. He said the report should have been more critical of government, and recommended better compensation arrangements for those affected. "I want to wake up one morning and not have to think about this issue because that is how you lead a constructive life," he said. "This has been a ball and chain around my ankle for 20-odd years, trying to get it addressed once and for all with some closure."
Despite the death toll, successive governments have refused to admit any fault or hold an investigation, forcing this public inquiry to rely on private donors.
Haemophilia is a rare inherited bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot normally.
There is no cure, but the condition can be managed using a clotting chemical.
From 1973, some blood products containing such treatment were imported from the US as UK suppliers could not keep pace with demand.
The two-year inquiry, led by Lord Archer of Sandwell, said the main responsibility for the tragedy rested with the US suppliers of the contaminated blood products.
He said commercial interests appeared to have been given a higher priority than patient safety.
Much of the blood had come from down-at-heel "skid row" donors, such as prison inmates, whose risk of hepatitis C and HIV was much higher than that of the general population.
Blood products began to be heat-treated from the mid 1980s to kill viruses.
However, Lord Archer also criticised the government at the time for being slow to become self-sufficient with blood products - it would have been unlikely for UK-sourced treatment to come from such a population of donors.
He said there was "lethargic" progress, with England and Wales taking 13 years compared to just five in Ireland.
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