[Comment: HIV doesn't cause AIDS, but a good example of the cold hearted nature of the medical industry.]
2,000 deaths after doctors 'ignored HIV blood alerts'
Last updated at 15:43pm on 18th April 2007
The AIDS virus. Some 4,500 haemophiliacs in Britain may have been exposed to the virus in the 70s and 80s
Haemophilia sufferers exposed to contaminated blood products in what has been described as the worst treatment disaster in NHS history told their harrowing stories to an independent public inquiry.
The victims and relatives of those who have since died after contracting HIV or hepatitis said they hoped the hearing would bring "justice" and expose the truth.
Nearly 2,000 haemophilia patients exposed to HIV and/or hepatitis C-contaminated blood products more than 20 years ago have since died and many others are said to be terminally ill.
Sue Threakall, whose husband Bob died in February 1991, aged 47, after contracting Aids following the use of clotting agent Factor 8, told the inquiry: "I shouldn't actually be here today. None of us should.
"Not the inquiry panel who are doing this unpaid, not the widows and certainly not most people sitting here today who are having to battle on a daily basis just to stay alive.
"I say this for two reasons. The first reason is that this terrible tragedy should never have happened in the first place, it was wholly avoidable.
"Warnings were ignored, lessons were not learned and our community was lied to by the people it should have trusted most.
"The second reason is that, given the gross incompetence - and worse - that happened in the first place, this should have been acknowledged by the Government of the time and dealt with honourably nearly a quarter of a century ago."
Mrs Threakall said her husband at the time he took Factor 8 was concerned about the product because he had told her he did not know what was in it.
She also claimed that during the mid-1980s doctors knew that her husband was infected with HIV and allowed the couple to have unprotected sex, as they were trying for a child, for at least six months before they were informed of his condition.
She went on to tell the inquiry panel: "You cannot bring back those who have died, but you can demand answers to questions and you can - with our help - reveal to the world the truth about what happened.
"Although money is not the answer to all this you can - and should - address the matter of finances. Many people have lost jobs, pensions, insurance and good job prospects because of what's happened.
"Many are living with great financial hardship as a direct result of this."