Blood Farm: The Explosive Big Pharma Scandal That Altered the AIDS Crisis (Hardcover)
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Financial Times
"A stunning investigation." --
How a miracle treatment turned deadly and changed the course of the AIDS crisis.
By the mid 1980s, AIDS hysteria was so rampant that a fearful and prejudiced public ignored stories of gay men falling ill with lesions and mouth ulcers. President Reagan avoided mentioning the disease entirely. Then, as chronicled in Blood Farm, a new HIV-positive population emerged, one that included kids like Ken Dixon, Brad Cross, and Ryan White who had been infected as young as ten years old. But how?
Unbeknownst to doctors and patients, pharmaceutical companies like Bayer, Baxter, and Armour collected plasma on skid row, in night clubs, and in some of America's most notorious prisons to make Factor VIII, a new miracle treatment for hemophilia. Companies knew these practices put patients at high risk of HIV, but miracles are a lucrative business, so they knowingly sold an infected product and effectively played Russian Roulette with hemophiliacs' lives. The results were catastrophic. In America, some 8,000 people with hemophilia contracted HIV; only 700 are alive today.
Award-winning journalist Cara McGoogan daringly exposes an expansive map of corporate greed and negligence that led to one of the biggest overlooked medical scandals in history. Alongside her we meet survivors turned activists, determined small town lawyers, and fearless reporters desperate for justice. Their fight for retribution created a critical inflection point in the AIDS crisis: stigmas shifted, settlements were awarded, and, later, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the largest federal program on HIV. In shocking, riveting detail, Blood Farm uncovers how a miracle treatment became a deadly poison and forever changed our understanding of AIDS.