Scotland To Launch Inquiry Into Contaminated Blood Products That Spread HIV, Other Diseases
Officials in Scotland plan to launch a public inquiry into the spread of HIV and hepatitis through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s, BBC News reports. The government about one year ago announced that it would hold an independent inquiry following 15 years of efforts by advocates, according to BBC News. The inquiry will examine issues such as how the National Health Service collected, treated and supplied the contaminated products. In addition, Lord George Penrose will examine what patients were told and how they were monitored (BBC News, 3/31).
An independent report released in February examined the use of contaminated blood products in the United Kingdom's NHS during the 1970s and 1980s, which spread HIV, hepatitis and other bloodborne diseases. In their 113-page report, the researchers noted that 4,670 hemophiliacs in the United Kingdom contracted hepatitis C through blood transfusions during the late 1970s and early 1980s and that 1,243 of those people also contracted HIV. Of the people who contracted both HIV and hepatitis C, about 800 have died. As of February 2007, when the researchers initiated the study, 1,757 people had died as a result of the contaminated blood products (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/24).