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Blood transfusion

Client story: Gene David

Clients of Leigh Day who have been affected by the infected blood scandal have shared their stories in the lead up to the publication of the Infected Blood Inquiry report.

Posted on 14 May 2024

Gene received a blood transfusion when he was 20 years old after suffering a haemorrhage following an operation to remove his tonsils. This required him to be given four units of blood, as well as a clotting agent. It is now well known that there was a high risk of clotting agents carrying the HIV virus at that time.

Four years later, Gene and his partner were both diagnosed with HIV. Gene was told that he also had hepatitis B antibodies which means that he had once had the virus but it had cleared from his system.

In 2017 Gene found out that many people had been infected with HIV and hepatitis after receiving contaminated blood. He believes that he contracted HIV from the treatment he received in 1985 before passing it on to his partner.

The HIV diagnosis had a huge effect on Gene. He was in his early 20s in the late 1980s when knowledge of the virus was limited. He was told he may only have six to 18 months to live.

Having built a career as a musician writing and performing songs across London, going on tour and signing a deal with Warner Brothers, the mental toll had a hugely detrimental effect Gene’s life and career. A few years later, he became homeless.

The medication Gene has had to take over the years has caused a wide range of health complications including skin cancer, Bell’s palsy and depression. For many years, he was unaware that the HIV could have been caused by his transfusion and he felt unable to talk to others about his diagnosis.

Since finding out about contaminated blood in 2017, Gene has struggled to obtain a full set of his medical records. He has been told that his hospital notes from 1985 have been destroyed. Whilst his GP records mention the operation, there is no reference to the use of blood or blood products. He has applied to the financial support schemes but has been refused payments due to insufficient evidence.


Gene David
Gene David


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