A HAEMOPHILIAC infected with HIV in the ‘Tainted Blood’ scandal has condemned the Government’s decision not to give victims more compensation.

John Smith (not his real name) was one of 4,670 people infected with Hepatitis C, and one of 1,243 within that group also infected with HIV, when given contaminated blood in the 1970s and 1980s.

The 56-year-old, from Blackburn, suffers from haemophilia, a rare inherited disorder, which means blood does not clot properly, leading to recurrent bleeding.

To prevent this, sufferers rely on injections of anti-coagulants, previously made from donated blood plasma.

In the USA, selling blood from prisoners was permitted until 1984, and the British Government bought blood from American inmates to give to haemophiliacs and blood transfusion patients.

Described by Lord Winston as ‘the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS’, this decision has so far led to almost 2,000 deaths.

John said: “I was offered the chance to take this ‘superb new treatment’, that was far more convenient than going to hospital because it could be administered at home. But nobody told us about the side effects.

“It decimated an entire generation of haemophiliacs. It was genocide.”

In 1987, John was given a life expectancy of just five years.

He said: “I was very angry, and as a dad of two young children, frightened for their future.

“It was also the stigma attached to HIV. Families were chased out of their homes, ‘AIDS’ scrawled on walls, children forced to leave schools.

“The Government benefited from this, because they knew victims wouldn't go public.

“I could only tell close friends and relatives.”

John had to give up work as a machinist, in case he cut himself in the factory.

“I retired from work to try and live the last five years as best I could,” he said.

“We couldn’t get a mortgage, we couldn’t get life insurance and we couldn’t get travel insurance.

John’s health declined, but he confounded doctors’ expectations.

The father-of-two was diagnosed with AIDS in 2000, and is now on medication to control his condition.

He said: “There were people dying at a rate of one a month at one point. It is pure luck that I am alive today.”

In the Republic of Ireland, those infected with Hepatitis C were awarded an average of £350,000 each, after a public inquiry in 1991.

Victims in Britain were offered as little as £25,000, but only on the proviso they dropped any future claim against the Government.

John said he reluctantly accepted an offer of £60,000 because he needed to support his family.

This month ministers turned down another plea for compensation, claiming it was not affordable, as it would cost more than £3billion.

John said: “We've been let down by every Government since the 1980s.

“They have never admitted liability and never offered full compensation.”