A big thank you to Caroline Wheeler, Political Editor Sunday Express for her continued support in the campaign for justice…
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Woman infected with HIV by husband after he received tainted blood campaigns for justice
By CAROLINE WHEELER
PUBLISHED: 10:08, Sun, Oct 18, 2015 | UPDATED: 10:36, Sun, Oct 18, 2015
The woman, who has asked not to be named, was infected with HIV by her husband after he was given contaminated blood.
The 54-year-old had been married to her husband for only two years when he was told he was HIV positive in 1985.
The couple were offered no advice or counselling about the virus and when they asked if it was safe to start a family, they were not deterred and were told the hospital would “monitor” them.
So within two years, the woman, who lives in Warwickshire, learned that she had been infected. Her husband, who died in March 1993, aged 34, was one of 7,500 NHS patients infected with diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis C, in the 1970s and 1980s after receiving blood that was riddled with viruses.
Many were haemophiliacs and, in all, more than 2,000 people have since died.
The widow told the Sunday Express: “It was horrific. I had to watch the man I loved die the most horrible, undignified death.
I had to watch as his body became ever more emaciated and was holding his hand when the end finally came.
“But what was even worse than watching him die was knowing that when my time finally comes I will die the same horrible death but I will be alone.”
The woman is now campaigning on behalf of HIV-infected widows as part of a pressure group called The Forgotten Few and has backed the Sunday Express crusade, which calls for a full and fair settlement for the victims of the worst treatment disaster in NHS history.
“Through no fault of my own I’ve got HIV. I watched my husband die and lost my chance to have children and the very people put in place to help us have caused me more unnecessary stress and problems than the HIV ever did.
“That’s why the entire system needs to be reformed so we no longer have to go to the trusts that were set up to help us with a begging bowl every time we need some kind of financial support.”
Campaigners want the trusts set up to deal with them paying a oneoff lump sum to those infected with contaminated blood, as well as regular financial assistance.
A Department of Health spokesman said: “We understand this tragedy has been extremely distressing for those affected and their families. Financial assistance and other support continues to be a priority and we remain committed to helping those affected.”