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Anger and blame

Many people feel angry about the injustices that have happened. Governments and pharmaceutical companies are most often seen to be at fault.

Most of the interviews had already been conducted before an independent inquiry was announced in February 2007.

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Amanda: Widow of Andrew, who died as a young adult.

Sometimes when I'm at work, because I'm still at Treloar's, I have this sense of those boys who used to run around being naughty and boisterous and noisy and stuff and I just think what a loss, what a terrible loss. So many of them were just full of life and laughter. So many of them were very clever or talented in acting or various other things, and they've just all gone. And Margaret Thatcher's government didn't care, the present day government haven't cared enough to look into it and the blood companies don't care. Nobody really cares. All that loss.

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Anisha: Wife whose husband is still alive but whose brother-in-law died as a young adult.

And then I thought, what is life? I can't be angry towards the NHS in that way, not to the extent where it's affecting my health, my life, my relationship with my husband, my relationships with my in-laws. They've taken everything away from us; do I want them to take this away? No, life's too short.

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Carol G: Wife of Pete who died as an adult.

The fact is, at the time, particularly in Newcastle, most haemophiliacs were on imported American plasma. Some of Pete's batch numbers were traced back to prisons in America, particularly Arkansas State Penitentiary. And there was quite a number of people in those prisons had HIV. And I don't for one minute blame the people that donated at all. In fact, former prisoners have been quite helpful in giving us evidence on the safety violations. So I'm very grateful to those people for speaking out. I blame the system that prioritised money over safety.

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Caroline M: Wife of Mick, who was also interviewed.

It's just the whole kind of uncaring attitude from lots of different organisations and professionals that really frustrates me, and really upsets me. Really upsets me. And when this person said to me, 'Well you know, there's no point campaigning because the Government know this is a problem that's going to go away'. That was in a professional capacity and I had to remain professional. That really upset me, and really hurt me, because we're talking about Mick. This is the person that is my whole life.

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Diane: Wife of Ian, who is living with haemophilia and HIV.

In that time there was stuff going on in my life, and I was quite clear that he couldn't have all the attention, that I needed some attention. But if we had a row, he'd have a bleed, he'd get ill. And so there was a real cycle that happened that made it feel that it was very, very difficult for me to be the one saying, 'I'm not okay', because it was almost like the physical reaction in Ian, which he couldn't control, meant that we had to stop talking about me, and get attention for Ian. So that was really hard. That was really, really hard. But I couldn't bear being a martyr. I had to let him know that I was pissed off and angry.

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Marge: Marge has two brothers: One who died as a young adult and one who is still alive. Marge is also mother of Steve, who was also interviewed.

I remember my mum always being angry. She was so angry. It's only recently that she's said, 'How you cope you're always relaxed about it. I was always angry'. And she's found out that the anger was because of the condition. She thought that was her natural personality. And that isn't. She really feels that discussing it and talking about it definitely helps, instead of just blocking it. Because all these years she's done that, and what's happened, she's just full of anger all the time. And that's how she coped.

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Norma: Mother of Catherine, Caroline, John and James. John and James died as young adults.

Having practised medicine, it was doubly hard to find that the profession that I revered had in fact let me down. I think that was the worst thing that happened to me really. I'd always thought how marvellous medicine was. I mean I knew it had limitations, but that was a big let-down, very disappointing, and bitter. I could understand their inadequacies dealing with HIV in haemophiliacs at that time, because it was an unknown factor. So I don't feel bitter about the stigma or the treatment particularly, more that it happened in the first place. It shouldn't have happened.

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Pam: Wife of Dennis who died as an adult. She is living with HIV.

You're only going to spoil yourself if you get angry, aren't you? It's no good being bitter and twisted, is it? You do, you spoil it for yourself. And, all right, it seems a funny thing to say, a lot of good has come out of this. I'm no longer the little Minnie Mouse I was. I'm still a bit of a Minnie Mouse but, no, I've met a lot of lovely people. I've been able to go out and speak, I went to a college and spoke. And, yes, I'm a different person. And as I say, I went off to Australia; I'd have never done that. And I have met some wonderful people through it all.