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Dozens of schoolboys infected with HIV after secret blood trial, inquiry hears

More than fifty boys were infected with HIV after they were secretly enrolled in a clinical trial of contaminated blood products, according to the Infected Blood Inquiry. The boys were all students at Treloars College in Hampshire. Treloars is a special disability school, and they provided a place for haemophiliacs in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Eighty haemophiliacs at the school received the polluted blood, and just sixteen are alive today.

(NOTE: The Infected Blood Inquiry was formed after the contaminated blood scandal in the UK, when at least 3,891 people with haemoplilia became infected with hepatitis C and HIV, as a result of receiving contaminated blood products supplied by the National Health Service (NHS) in the 1970s and 1980s.)

One of the survivors, Ade Goodyear, told the inquiry that his records indicate he was in the group of fifty boys enrolled in an eight-month trial of blood plasma. He said that he and his parents were not aware that he had been chosen for the trial of the new blood plasma, which was manufactured by US pharmaceutical company Speywood Laboratories. Goodyear added:

“I believe everyone in that trial became infected with HIV. We don’t know for certain if it was in the first eight months of the trial, but it was definitely in the American products, because I was very sick from that batch.”1

The blood plasma products were used to prevent bleeding, which is common in haemophiliacs, and were given out in a purpose-built National Health Services run (NHS) clinic that was located at the school.

Mr. Goodyear was infected with HIV and Hepatitis C. He told the inquiry that after the trial, he only received the American made-blood products. He said a nurse at the clinic mentioned to him that these were the products responsible for his illnesses, stating:

“She told us there was one batch that infected all of us boys. She didn’t mean one batch, she meant there was one line of products.”1

Almost 5,000 people have contracted HIV and Hepatitis C by infected blood products used to treat haemophilia, or from transfusions of contaminated whole blood used in the NHS, and nearly 3,000 of them have died.

Most of the infected haemophiliacs were given products imported from the United States that were made with blood derived from sex workers, drug users and prisoners.

According to Mr. Goodyear, his school doctor was riddled with guilt when he learned the blood products were polluted. He said he found the doctor crying in his kitchen, telling he and another boy “we f***** up, we messed up.”1

Abe Goodyear asked the inquiry to seek accountability for the decisions that led to so many students being infected, stating:

“Who made that man [the doctor] push HIV through our veins, knowing what he knew? Who directed him to do it? It guaranteed that we could get it, for eight months.”1

This is a such tragic story. We will let you know as we learn more.