How did US prisoner blood infect thousands in the UK? Northeastern experts unpack the scandal

Key Takeaways

  • Northeastern experts explain the legal, social and medical repercussions of a scandal that saw 30,000 people infected and 3,000 die after being given contaminated blood.

By Patrick Daly

LONDON — Perry Evans was a sport-loving young man who relished the odd daredevil feat such as parachute jumping.

But in 1985, at age 27, he was told that, following a standard treatment for hemophilia — a blood clot-preventing condition he was diagnosed with while still a baby — he had tested positive for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and potentially had just two years to live.

Five years later, there was worsening health news — he was told he also had hepatitis C.

Evans was one of more than 30,000 victims of what is known as the contaminated blood scandal when infected blood, most of it imported from the U.S., was given to people in Britain in the 1970s and ’80s. Close to 3,000 people are thought to have since died as a result of infected treatments and contaminated blood transfusions.

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