I lost my mum, dad and baby sister to HIV in infected blood scandal

All Sam Rushby can remember about his family are fleeting memories of hospital corridors and waiting rooms. In 1994, at just two years old, he lost his mum to Aids. His dad died with the condition a year later at Liverpool Royal Infirmary.

His sister had also been infected with HIV, then a new and untreatable virus, and had died. My family was literally torn apart and ripped away from me,” he tells BBC Panorama in his first-ever interview.

“It just feels like they’ve been disposed of and that’s the end of it now.Sam’s father Gary was one of more than 1,200 people infected with HIV as part of the infected blood scandal, most after being given a drug made from US blood plasma in the late 1970s and 1980s.

A long-running public inquiry into what has been called the worst treatment disaster in NHS history is preparing to report its findings.

One of the key areas it is examining is whether the authorities were too slow to act at the time.

Now, BBC Panorama has seen evidence that the British Embassy in Washington warned the UK government about the risk of Aids from contaminated blood in the early 1980s. An embassy official wrote a five-page memo to a senior figure at the Department of Health after meeting a member of the US Aids taskforce.

The warning – one of several – came a decade before Sam was born.

Source: BBC

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