Monday, July 22, 2024

Arkansas Prison Blood Scandal


Anyone ever heard of the "Arkansas Prison Blood Scandal?" The ties to Health Management Associates (HMA) and the Clintons run deep. Blood mining became big business in the late 1970s and up to 1983 when the FDA stripped HMA of its authority to collect and sell plasma from prisoners, who received $7 a pint for their blood.

In 1979, the very year Clinton became governor of Arkansas, the state prison system was awarded a hefty financial contract to the Little Rock agency HMA. The company received $3 million a year to run medical services in the state's wretched prison system. However, due to a lack of screening inmates in the Cummins Unit in Grady, Arkansas, the blood collected by HMA was tainted. HMA neglected to screen the blood from inmates even after the FDA issued warnings about the rising incidence of HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis B. Inmates even complained about the reuse of needles between prisoners giving blood.

Under Bill Clinton’s governorship in the 1980s, the blood collected by HMA became a multi-billion-dollar industry as HMA was permitted to resell the blood to pharmaceutical companies. What does all of this have to do with me?

I was born a hemophiliac, and to treat my bleeding disorder, I required intravenous injections of clotting factor and plasma so I could clot and produce thrombin. Without these infusions, sometimes needed 3-4 times weekly, I couldn’t clot, which put me at high risk for joint bleeds and hemophilia-related chronic bleeding episodes, resulting in debilitating mobility, pain, and prolonged recovery times. Without treatment, I could literally bleed to death.

At age 2, roughly as best we can determine, I was co-infected with both HIV and Hepatitis C. Despite my mother’s best efforts to protect me, she had no idea what was taking place or going into my veins.


I spent the next two decades of my life practically living at a university hospital, trying to rescue my life from certain death. By 1983, I was infected with two viruses that had been traced back to the Cummins Prison from inmates who were addicts, users, and sexually promiscuous. My life was forever changed by the greed of men, who sold units of blood for $70 each, grossing over $7 million yearly and making huge profits for Clinton’s mandated HMA.

In 1983, the FDA stripped HMA of its ability to sell and distribute blood. The state police were called in to file reports regarding "falsifying records and shipping hot blood." Leonard Dunn, a Little Rock banker and political ally and personal friend of Bill Clinton, was involved. Millions of dollars were going through the hands of Dunn and Clinton. The misconduct was blamed on a disgruntled security guard “who was taking kickbacks from rejected prisoners in order to let them get back into the blood trade. The license was quickly restored and the tainted blood once more began to flow.” The blood flew once more until the FDA finally shut it down altogether in 1994. HMA turned to Canadian blood dealer Cryosan, who’s shady reputation had them falsifying documents on obtaining blood from Russian cadavers a labeling from Swedish volunteers. Cryosan passed the blood from the Cummins Prison Unit to Canadian Red Cross and sold blood to Italy, France, Spain and Japan (infecting millions). 

When HMA was forced to stop U.S. sales of its blood, they did the only logical thing. Pressure from the FDA forced HMA to stop selling and distributing its blood batches to U.S. pharmaceutical companies. The plasma program at the Cummins Prison Unit figured out a way to ship its tainted blood to other countries, including Canada, resulting in thousands of hemophiliacs contracting HIV, AIDS, and both strains of Hepatitis.

Clinton knew well the dealings of the blood and plasma program of the Arkansas Prison System. Dunn became president of HMA through channels and deals with Clinton. Even more interesting, Richard Mays, Leonard Dunn, and Bill Clinton’s names would later show up again in the Whitewater Scandal. Dunn also became the financial coordinator for Clinton’s fourth-term political election.

From a state program funded by the Clinton administration, unregulated blood and falsified documents led to tainted blood, resulting in over 10,000 hemophiliacs contracting HIV, AIDS, and HCV.

As pharmaceutical companies paid for the tainted blood from the Arkansas Prison Healthcare program, concerns about the blood containing HIV, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis B were, for the most part, overlooked in the pursuit of profit. Cutter Pharmaceuticals, one of the companies that manufactured hemophilia-related products, sold their infusion treatments to patients, including myself. Over 10,000 bleeding disorder patients contracted these viral pathogens from the “prison plasma” program.

I've now lived over 42 years being HIV+, and by the grace of God, was cured of Hepatitis C in 2014 by a breakthrough drug called Sovaldi. But my pain, my suffering, and the lives of some of my family members who died of AIDS or AIDS-related illnesses, directly stem from this prison and the greed of Clinton’s administration.

Evil exists… Crooked politician fattening their wallets on the backs of innocent blood recipients is a tale not many care to share these days. But… this story had to be shared so the world knows and doesn’t forget the horrors that happened among hemophiliacs of the 70’s through the 90’s. I’m a product of greed, but blessed to continue to carry the torch for those no longer here whose voice has been silenced. 

To quote Dylan Thomas, “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Monday, January 8, 2024

Complications with Aging HIV


Emergency Oral Surgery
I have brittle bones, and this extends to my teeth. Despite taking vitamin D supplements for over four years, the long-term effects of HIV are taking a toll. This isn’t a concern for newly diagnosed or recent patients, but as a 42-year-old with HIV, my bone density is diminishing. 

Annually, I undergo a bone density scan to assess overall bone health. I’ve dealt with early onset osteoporosis in my hips and lower back for years, and now these issues are spreading. HIV depletes minerals and sucks the life out of my bones and marrow, revealing the impact of living with the virus for so long, despite being undetected. 

HIV resides dormant in my bone marrow’s T-Cells, the epicenter of our immune system, harvesting minerals and reducing bone density. Although HAART therapy makes the virus undetected in lab tests, it’s still present. After 40 years of infection, I have weakened bones and compromised immunity.  

Low bone mineral density (BMD) is common in HIV-infected individuals. Starting antiretroviral therapy leads to a 2%-6% BMD decrease over the initial two years, comparable to menopausal changes (Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). 

I fear this signals the start of more incidents due to compromised bone density. The tooth has been temporarily fixed; a permanent porcelain crown is scheduled for February. I’ll provide updates in the future.

Cracked Molar with exposed nerve

Fixed Molar prepared for Crown

Dental Dam with compound application

Monday, July 10, 2023

Pfizer’s “Science Will Win” Campaign

Despite spending most of his childhood in the hospital because of hemophilia, he is living proof that the right treatment can improve your quality of life. As a child, Joe spent most of his time inside, facing a series of blood transfusions that limited his mobility and prevented him from participating in activities like many kids do.Now, with a once-a-week treatment, he’s able to do the things he once only dreamed of, like hiking and working out with his wife. Visit my page on Pfizer’s official web site, and help me share this incredible opportunity to share my story to the world.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Aging with HIV - A Patient Perspective (Over 40 Years HIV Positive)

Join us for a powerful and informative interview on the topic of 'Aging with HIV.' In this 30-minute discussion, we delve deep into the health and life challenges faced by individuals living with HIV over an extended period of time. Discover the top concerns and comorbidities associated with HIV, and gain valuable insights into the needs and barriers faced by HIV+ individuals. We also explore the vital topic of sexual health and the mental health ramifications of long-term HIV exposure. Finally, we offer practical advice on coping strategies and daily activities to support those living with HIV. Don't miss this enlightening and essential conversation on HIV awareness.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Featured on Hashtag Our Stories

Hey friends! It's been a while. To be honest, not much has changed in terms of my healthcare and physical status. I'm still taking the same medications, and pursing an active and healthy gym and fitness lifestyle. I'm so blessed to be in the season I am in, and my labs look great! Home life is the best it's ever been, and the wife and I are still traveling and going to the theme parks regularly here in Orlando, FL. 

One thing that is new is I'm currently seeking treatment on my lower back by way of chiropractic care. My first appointment is on Thursday (two days from the date of this post), so I'm a little anxious about how treatment will go for a severe hemophiliac. To be honest, my back could use some major work. Having one leg shorter than the other from a lifetime of target joint bleeds in my right knee, my entire right leg is a half inch shorter than my left. This is because there is no spacing in the joint to cushion impact like a healthy joint's synovium has. My right knee is literally bone to bone. So I will update you guys on the progress there after my appointment. Fingers crossed! 

As the title suggests, I was recently featured on the mobile journalism platform, Hashtag Our Stories. It's founded by Yusuf Omar, and basically allows users to share their stories of triumph, hardship and really peels back the veil from mainstream media bringing new light to how stories of individuals are told and shared. Their stories are shared on social media platforms like SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter as opposed to mainstream network media. 

In honor of World Hemophilia Day, which was on April 17th, 2022 this year, I was approached by Hashtag Our Stories to record and share my full unbridled story. Below is the video the 3 and a half minute video their editors put together. I've gotten a range of emotional responses, and a wealth of love and support for being so transparent. But, it's not my story, but God's story. God is using my hardships to help comfort the lives of those hurting, with questions and seeking counsel about their own diagnosis. I pray this video will steer your in the right path, and encourage all who watch it let me know your thoughts. My DM's are always open.