WATCH: An interview with Dr Don Francis on the Tainted Blood Scandal
This intimate interview from CPAC gives a great insight into the Tainted Blood Scandal from one of the United States' most notorious epidemiologists Dr Don Francis who worked at the CDC in the 1980's.
Dr Francis explains his experience of the emergence of the AIDS crisis, he tells of how he was able to start going back and looking at the blood samples of gay men which had been stored as part of research into Hepatitis B vaccines, "we were shocked" he says, "it didn't take long to figure out HIV was blood borne illness". According to Don "we knew what the epidemiology was within months, it didn't take long at all".
Attributing much HIV infection through blood products like Factor VIII to the industries failure to screen out gay men Dr Francis say that "thousands of people who died without any reason are just a negative tribute to the donors and lack of response", he says preventing the situation was "pretty straight forward". Summarising events he says "it was stupid".
He goes on to make the case that recipients of blood products should have sat on the committees that made decision relating to safety and not just those who stood to profit or loose money relating to decisions that were taken.