A North London man who contracted HIV and Hepatitis through a blood transfusion at the age of 15 got an apology from the government for the contaminated blood supply, but he still awaits financial compensation, according to Mirror.
Mark Ward, 45, was born with hemophilia, which prevents his blood from clotting. Therefore, a bump on the skin or a bruise would result in a hospital visit, and he would be in dire need of a blood transfusion.
Twenty years after being given HIV-infected blood, Mark Ward from Peacehaven… – The Argus http://t.co/ugpHOjYRQV.. pic.twitter.com/UHFQD5cdOT
— Dorothy Cook (@dorothycook123) April 25, 2015
“I must have had more than 100 blood transfusions by the age of 10,” Ward said.
“I go to sleep each night never knowing what the next day is going to bring – because, according to doctors that diagnosed me, I shouldn’t even be alive today.”
After an innumerable amount of blood transfusions, Ward unknowingly took an HIV test in 1984 at the age of 15, and his results were positive.
“I was only 15 at the time. She just blurted out that I was positive,” Ward remembers. “She looked at me, and said ‘It’s positive, see you next time.’ I was flabbergasted — I wasn’t even aware I’d been tested.”
Ward later learned that he had also contracted Hepatitis A, B, and C.
“Back then people were ignorant about HIV and its causes,” he continued, “it carried a real stigma and people told me it was my fault and that I’d caught it from unprotected sex.”
Ward feels as though his life suffered after being infected with HIV. He claims that he was only able to secure friends who were infected by the disease, and knew what it was like living with HIV.
“My only friends were those with HIV I’d met in hospital appointments, but many died from AIDS a few years later. It was scary and heartbreaking to watch.”
“My immune system went into shutdown and my weight plummeted to four stone,” he said. “My Mum took me home to die.”
Since Ward had gone public about contracting HIV through a blood transfusion, he received an apology from David Cameron on behalf of the government. They even began to support HIV patients by donating $25 million.
“I have been treated like an outsider all my life, so a paltry apology 30 years too late is hardly a victory. Cash compensation is the least we deserve,” Ward explained.
“I can’t believe it has taken three decades for anybody to accept responsibility for this.”
“I’ve had people shout, ‘Watch out, he’s got AIDS’ while walking down the street, and nearly all my ex-partners dumped me when they found out.”
“I’ve had men simply walk out on dates when I tell them I am HIV positive.”
“They are either sickened by me or they think I am going to die.”
Although an apology was received, Mark Ward is still awaiting financial compensation for contracting HIV through a blood transfusion.
[Image courtesy of Getty Images]