By the time Cheryl Reitz got the letter in the mail, it was already too late.
It was 1992 and she had just donated blood for the second time.
Canada had just begun ramping up efforts to screen blood donations for
hepatitis C, back then a rarely discussed disease.
“It was when people got sick that they decided to go back and check,”
says Reitz, whose results came back positive. For all she knew, between
her first donation in 1990 and 1992, Reitz may have infected others
with the blood-borne viral liver disease that, today in Ontario, kills
nearly three times as many people annually as HIV.