A victim of the infected blood scandal and his family have shared publicly for the first time how their lives have been impacted by what's been described as the “greatest injustice this country has seen”.

Bob Chapman, who lives in Llanidloes, said it has been "hard to shake off the stigma" after living with hepatitis C for 50 years.

The 76-year-old believes he was infected in 1974 but it wasn't until more than 10 years later that he was told in a letter that he was one of more than 30,000 people in the UK given contaminated blood products.

The final report of an independent inquiry was published today (Monday, May 20) into the circumstances in which people treated by health services were given infected blood, in particular since 1970.

The inquiry into the biggest treatment disaster in the NHS has found that the infected blood scandal “could largely have been avoided” and there was a “pervasive” cover-up to hide the truth.

Bob is one of the very few people to have both haemophilia and Von Willebrand disease, a bleeding disorder that affects the blood’s ability to clot.

He was a successful painter and decorator in south-east England during the middle of the Aids crisis in the 1980s when he was told about his blood being infected. His business partner told him that he was closing the business because they were losing work after people heard that he was infected with hepatitis C.

"I tried to do it on my own, but I couldn't get work with anybody," Bob said. "I couldn't get any contracts because all the work was shut against me."

During the early 1990s, Bob was too unwell to work after suffering from internal bleeding. What little work that was available had dried up and Bob eventually could no longer pay the mortgage that he worked so hard for.

"It was all taken away and there was no help," he said.

Bob eventually went to court and won his claim for disability benefits.

"They said I had fallen through the cracks," Bob recalled. "I hadn’t fallen through the cracks; I was kicked down there hoping I’d get lost down there."

County Times: Bob Chapman with his daughter Vicky.Bob Chapman with his daughter Vicky. (Image: Anwen Parry/County Times)

Vicky said the impact the infected blood scandal has had on her, and her family has left her "angry and disgusted".

"The way the infected blood community has been treated is an ongoing injustice," she said.

"The stigma at the time was horrendous. Even now it's hard to talk about it and that was nearly 30 years ago.

"It’s so important that people know, they need to know and recognise the impact it’s had. Ignorance and fear of being judged, has kept people quiet.

"We consider ourselves lucky because we’ve still got our dad. It shouldn’t have happened at all, but it could have been worse.

"It’s taken a lot for us to talk about it. The more people that know the better it is. I think on a local level is where we can really put the pressure on.

"We always say as a community that justice delayed, is justice denied. We’re losing two members of the infected blood community every week."

The inquiry's chair, Sir Brian Langstaff, will share his remarks and reflections which will be filmed and live streamed on YouTube at 2pm on Monday, May 20, following the report's publication at 12.30pm.