June 3, 2021 – Statement from Nathan Schaefer, Vice President of Public Policy, National Hemophilia Foundation
This June marks a painful anniversary for the inheritable blood disorders community and the world. On June 5, 1981, the first cases of what would come to be known at HIV were reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Shortly thereafter, cases were identified in children with hemophilia. Individuals with blood disorders learned too late that the blood supply their lives depend on was contaminated with HIV, hepatitis B and C viruses. Subsequently, our community lost many loved ones during a tragic, prolonged crisis. Now, we remember not only this great loss, but the courage and change that came to our community because of this crisis. We especially honor our long-term survivors of HIV, who have forever shaped our country’s history. The reforms that bleeding disorder advocates made possible are still saving lives today, and continue to inspire NHF to be bolder in our work as the prime advocate for a safer blood supply and blood products in the U.S. and abroad.