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UK News Patients not told they had HIV until two years after infection, inquiry told

16:35  03 december  2020
16:35  03 december  2020 Source:   msn.com

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The Infected Blood Inquiry was told 16 people were found to have the virus in October 1984 after receiving NHS blood products in Edinburgh. But it was December that year before medics told patients that some of them might have been infected with HIV . It was then left to them to ask whether they

An early HIV diagnosis can help ensure prompt treatment to control the virus and prevent progression into stage 3 HIV . Early HIV symptoms generally arise within one to two months after transmission, although they can arrive as soon as two weeks after exposure, according to HIV .gov .

Some haemophiliac patients did not find out whether they were HIV positive until more than two years after receiving infected transfusions, an inquiry has heard.

a sign on a table: The Infected Blood Inquiry has heard evidence from a consultant haematologist (Tom Eden/PA) © Tom Eden The Infected Blood Inquiry has heard evidence from a consultant haematologist (Tom Eden/PA)

The Infected Blood Inquiry was told two patients who were informed they may have been infected did not request tests to find out, while others were “adamant” they did not want to know.

Giving evidence to the UK-wide inquiry remotely on Thursday, Professor Christopher Ludlam, consultant haematologist and reference centre director at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh from 1980 to 2011, said he knew of 16 positive cases in October 1984.

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More than 1,200 patients infected with HIV were forced to sign a contract with UK government officials promising to drop all legal action before being told they had contracted Prime Minister Theresa May announced in July last year that an inquiry would be held into the events over the two decades.

The inquiry has been told 23 haemophiliac patients in total, two of them children, became infected with HIV after treatment at the Edinburgh Centre in 1984.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Professor Christopher Ludlam said some of the affected patients did not want to know if they had been infected with HIV (Infected Blood Inquiry/PA) © Provided by PA Media Professor Christopher Ludlam said some of the affected patients did not want to know if they had been infected with HIV (Infected Blood Inquiry/PA)

Patients were invited to a group meeting in December that year when they were told about the situation and were offered tests to find out whether they had antibodies to HTLV-III, the previous name for HIV.

Jenni Richards QC asked Prof Ludlam: “There were two patients who after two years still didn’t know their results because they had not responded to any invitation to proactively contact the centre and a very small number of patients declined to know the result?”

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People who recently have been infected with HIV may not be as highly infectious as previously believed, a finding that could improve global efforts to prevent In particular, the finding bolsters the strategy of treating patients with antiretroviral drugs before the onset of AIDS to prevent transmission.

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He replied that was correct and said the two people who had not asked for their results found out at the end of January 1986, or very early in January 1987.

Asked when others may have found out, he said: “I cannot remember when they eventually heard.”

He said one patient who did not want to know their test results did not attend the December meeting, and Prof Ludlam made a point of contacting him.

The professor told the inquiry: “It was of particular concern to me because I saw that there was a possibility that other people could be at risk and I would have felt more comfortable if he had known.

“I suspect he must have thought he might be.”

Thousands of patients across the UK were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.

About 2,400 people died in what has been labelled the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

The inquiry before chairman Sir Brian Langstaff continues.

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usr: 1
This is interesting!