30 years after contaminated blood trial ‘families traumatized for life’

Contaminated Blood: The Trial of the Year“, Ouest France had captioned in its edition of June 22, 1992. Thirty years have passed since then, but Bernard Daviet has not forgotten anything. “These are families who are traumatized for life“, says this pensioner from Vouillé-les-Marais in Vendée. Severe hemophilia A, which causes “frequent spontaneous bleeding and abnormal bleeding after minor injuries, operations or tooth extractions”, as explained by the French Association of Haemophiliacs, it was contaminated in the 1980s. “However, not many hemophiliacs have made it throughsays the man who still resents political and medical leaders three decades after this ultra-mediatized trial opened.

“It ruined our lives and it wasn’t always clear in my head”

Four responsible, how many perpetrators?‘ begins the edifying article by Bernard Le Solleu, journalist at Ouest-France, presenting the use of this process. Four doctors on the defendant’s bench. The beginning of a legal soap opera spanning more than a decade, in the course of which Several ministers and then Prime Minister Laurent Fabius are accused. “We all had a very bad time during this period.confides Bernard Daviet, former chairman of the committee of the French association of hemophiliacs in the Pays de la Loire. It was difficult to see that the politicians were not being punished.”

These people infected us, I remember that 30 years later.

bleeders like Bernard Daviet, four of his brothers died after infection. “We saw them all gogrieves Claudie, who has been married to Bernard for 46 years. Bernard’s mother saw them all go and we said to ourselves: it’s just us, until when?“During those years, Claudie put others first to support her husband and protect her daughter. “It was very difficult to livebegins Bernard, who has just placed a folder full of press clippings on the round table in the living room. It ruined our lives and believe me it wasn’t always very clear in my head. When we know that you can declare AIDS tomorrow and you could die in six months, it’s very complicated.

The article published by Ouest France on June 22, 1992, the first day of the “Trial of the Year”. © Radio France
Florian Cazzola

Testify never to forget

Bernard Daviet sits in the living room of his pavilion in Vouillé-les-Marais, the windows open to create a draft, and Bernard Daviet today speaks frankly about his experiences. But not too often if possible. He has never hidden his HIV status. “But it still gives me goosebumps to talk about it again because it stirs up the past with the death of my brothers.” Sadness, anger, illness, treatment, the seventy-year-old avoids nothing. Joining the French Haemophilia Association, he should also continue the fight, telling his story and that of many others, to pass it on to the younger generations, who are too young to know about this scandal that has claimed thousands of lives. .

But the scar is still there. And it doesn’t take much to bring those painful memories to the surface. A television report in which we see one of the political personalities of the time, a phone call, concrete data.

I can still see myself in the kitchen and hear someone from the family saying to me: We’re all going, we’re all going to die – Claudie Daviet

“We live with it, but it’s difficult. We can only blame them.” Her husband shares this feeling 30 years after the beginning of this process. Ouest France spoke about it like this: “250 hemophiliacs have already died of AIDS. More than a thousand others are infected. Their faces and suffering will haunt the hearings at the 16th Paris Prison, which today opens the trial of the year, the trial of blood contaminated with the AIDS virus. Four defendants are responsible for this tragedy.’ Which will result in convictions, albeit insufficient, regrets Bernard Daviet.

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