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Definition A popular term for a public health scandal in which French authorities delayed approving the American test for HIV, pending development of an equivalent French test. This resulted in countless haemophiliacs becoming infected by HIV.

Comment A 2nd aspect of the affair was that the major supplier of blood products in France chose to use stock of existing unheated blood products despite warnings that “probably all” of the pooled plasma from Parisian donors was infected with HIV; similar scandals rocked the health care industries in other countries–e.g., in Japan, where an ± 1800 haemophiliacs were infected by non-heat-treated factor VIII during the critical period in the mid-1980s. The term AIDS-gate derives from the Watergate scandal that occurred during Richard Nixon’s presidency, and triggered his resignation from the White House.  The false root, –gate has taken a life of its own and now means scandal, e.g., Bloodgate

Synonym AIDS gate


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