As a direct result of clinical decisions and policy made and implemented in the 1970s and early 1980s, it is estimated that over 30,000 people were infected by contaminated blood or blood products in the UK, with over 3,000 people having lost their lives as a result.

A final compensation deal has not yet been offered to victims. It is anticipated that the Government will formally apologise today and respond on the issue of compensation in Parliament tomorrow.

In response to the report, Richard Angell, Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said:

“Today is a watershed moment in the history of the UK. For victims, painful and difficult memories will be amplified. The reality of what has happened will be a life-long burden carried by many people now and in the future. Whatever promises and commitments are made today will never compensate for the horror which the community has endured.

“We offer our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to every member of the infected blood community – both infected and affected – for the perseverance and patience they have shown as they provided evidence of the untruths, obfuscation and delay which has permeated this scandal. The community has shown the best of humanity. As we collectively digest the Report today and prepare for the Government’s response, we stand ready to assist those infected with HIV in the infected blood community in any way we can.

“This is a seismic moment for those infected and affected by this scandal who have been vindicated but not yet compensated. For victims of the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS, who have been fighting for justice for almost five decades, the trauma never stops.

 “We also thank Sir Brian and his Inquiry team for the thorough and diligent way in which the report was prepared and completed. The Inquiry Report contains significant detail on the history of this scandal. It shows an astonishing lack of curiosity and candour from officials and ministers and a wilful and consistent campaign from decision makers to avoid transparency and accountability. The Report shines a light on dark corners at last.

“What is abundantly clear to all is that the Infected Blood Scandal should never have happened. The Report includes a detailed and clear timeline of what went so very wrong and the actions that allowed this tragedy to occur.  The Report definitively confirms what the victims of the scandal have known for many years: that 'systemic, collective and individual failures' from government, public bodies, organisations and individuals led to unnecessary deaths, sickness and suffering. This must never be able to happen again.

 "The Government must now act – and do so at genuine pace. An apology must now be offered by the Prime Minister, on behalf of this and all previous Governments. A true apology cannot just be an expression of regret. Compensation must go hand-in-hand with acceptance of culpability by the Government for the infections and subsequent cover-up.

“To address the repeated examples of cover-up, we believe that a duty of candour right across the UK for all public servants, elected or otherwise, is essential in ensuring that it doesn’t. Such a duty, backed with legal force and status, would bind ministers and officials to act in an open and transparent way to make sure justice is done in the wake of horrific tragedies such as this.

 “Even while the inquiry was ongoing, there were still difficulties in gaining public access to materials relating to the scandal and the actions of government. This must change and as part of that, how freedom of information applications work must be addressed.

"There must be an explicit duty on government to deliver the recommendations of this report in a timely and transparent way. The days of kicking the can down the road are over.

“Finally, compensation will never make up for the catastrophic damage done to the victims, but it will help those who have suffered to move forward with their lives. Only those infected or their widows have been given interim compensation so far. This is utterly unacceptable. A final compensation deal has still not been agreed and there has still been no full recognition for over 40 years of injustice. For those who die between now and finally getting their compensation, everything must be done to ensure it isn’t the the Treasury that keeps that money. It should go to every living person impacted who has fought tirelessly to be recognised despite the deceit, obfuscation and cover up.

"This Report provides an opportunity to change the way Government works. Similar scandals, such as the Post Office/Horizon scandal, the Grenfell Inquiry and many more demonstrate that the way this country reviews mistakes and learns lessons inclines to protect people rather than reveal the truth. We need nothing less than systemic change to ensure such a scandal can never, ever happen again.”