In the early 1980s, when the viral cause of AIDS had not yet been established, the syndrome was called “disease of four Gs” because it was common among homosexuals, heroin addicts, Haitians and hemophiliacs. But while the spread of the disease in the first three “Gs” could be explained by the infectious nature of the syndrome, its spread among hemophiles who were not in contact with each other was not part of this concept.
Later it turned out that the infection was contained by Bayer, a drug prescribed by hemophilia patients to normalize blood clotting. Factor VIII is obtained using blood donor plasma. As payment was due for the donation of blood plasma, most donors had low social status, including former prisoners and drug addicts. In 1983, after the discovery of the viral nature of AIDS, HIV was found in these drugs. To neutralize it, Bayer began using thermal treatment of donor plasma. However, the heat-treated drugs were supplied only to the U.S. market, and continued to be exported without heat-treated drugs.
Large batches of infected drugs were exported to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Argentina, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Japan, etc. According to Kenneth B. Moll & Associates, Ltd. has infected more than 10,000 haemophiliacs worldwide. Bayer paid $600 million to the victims over the next 15 years.
This is the most famous case of HIV infection spread by medical means. However, it is possible that other drugs and vaccines based on biological materials from donors and animals may have contained HIV and contributed to the spread of the infection in the early years of the epidemic. Indirectly in favor of this is the fact that the heaviest epidemics have been observed in Africa, where pharmaceutical companies have conducted and are still conducting clinical trials of their drugs under the auspices of humanitarian and charitable activities. In some African countries, up to a quarter of the population is HIV-positive.
There is a version that HIV in the human population came from animals that produced medicines and vaccines using their blood. Today, these drugs must be tested for known viruses. However, there is no 100% guarantee that these drugs are sterile and do not contain viruses, some of which may cause the development of new or known diseases.