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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Canada to Pay for Bad Blood

HAMILTON, Ontario -- The Canadian Red Cross was fined $5,000 Canadian dollars ($4,000) after pleading guilty to distributing blood tainted with HIV and hepatitis C in the 1980s.

The charity will also put aside $1.5 million Canadian dollars to pay for post-secondary scholarships for family members of those affected as well as a medical research project.

The decades-old tainted blood scandal is considered one of the worst public health disasters in Canadian history. More than 1,000 Canadians became infected with blood-borne HIV, and up to 20,000 others contracted hepatitis C after receiving tainted blood products in the 1980s and early 1990s. About 3,000 people had died by 1997, and the death toll has grown, but recent estimates were not available.