'It's Aids kid': Man given infected blood products as baby recalls being 'treated like a leper'

Neil remembers how he "didn't want to be here" Credit: ITV Central

A man who was diagnosed with hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV has spoken to ITV News about how he felt like a "ticking time bomb".

Neil Walker has been ill for most of his life after he was given contaminated blood products when he was a baby.

He was given the infected blood products as part of treatment for haemophilia, leading to him testing positive for HIV when he was 12 years old.

Now in his 50s, Neil still remembers vividly how his life changed overnight. He explained: "They had to have special measures put in place.

"Full-time bodyguards, carers carrying bleach around with them, first aid kits, escorting me to every lesson, sitting in on every lesson in case I cut myself and they could clear it up."

Neil was given infected blood products when he was a baby Credit: Family handout

He adds: "I had kids screaming to me down the corridors; 'It's the Aids kid, it's the kid with Aids, run.'

"I could go out at break time, but who wants to hang around with a kid with Aids"

Neil, who is from Derby, is one of 30,000 people in the UK who were given treatments infected with HIV and hepatitis C during the 1970s and 80s.

When Neil was 14, he was taken to hospital with a suspected ruptured appendix.

He said there was no compassion or care and he was made to feel like a leper with the door padlocked.

Neil remembers how his life changed overnight when he tested positive for HIV aged 12 Credit: Family handout

He told ITV News Central: "My mother wasn't allowed in the room, it was basically padlocked.

"Bedpans were piling up in the room and people were coming in with big gowns on.

"Two or three surgeons refused to operate on me and a surgeon came from London to do the operation."

That same year, Neil was told he had Hepatitis B. Seven years later he was diagnosed with hepatitis C, and later, Aids.

He said: "I was scared, a total emotional wreck.

"I didn't want to be here. I didn't want to be a burden to my family."

Neil describes his wife Tina as his rock and soulmate Credit: ITV Central

His life started to spiral out of control, he said: "I didn't care if I lived or died. Many times I thought of driving my car into the wall."

Neil said he would never be able to forgive those who treated him: "They've given me a life sentence and everybody else, and I've lost a lot of friends."

He described his wife Tina as his rock and soulmate. He says marrying her was the best thing that ever happened to him.

But because of his illness, there have been many challenges for the couple along the way.

Tina said: "There's been times when it's not been easy at all. Especially when he went on a certain treatment for hepatitis C.

"It was a person that I did not recognise and we were going to get divorced because I couldn't do it anymore."

The final report by the government's inquiry into the infected blood scandal is due to be published today.

Neil wants there to be accountability, saying: "Why don't they just pull their finger out and pay out the compensation?

"And admit that, yes, it's been done, it should never have been done, but failings were there.

"Responsibility and accountability would mean a lot."

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