Eve van Grafhorst

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Eve van Grafhorst (17 July 1982 – 20 November 1993) was one of the first Australian children to be infected with HIV via a blood transfusion. She became the centre of a storm of controversy in 1985 when she was banned from her local pre-school amid fears she might infect other children.

Van Grafhorst was born prematurely in 1982, and required eleven blood transfusions to save her life. One of the transfusions was contaminated, and van Grafhorst contracted HIV.[1]

Van Grafhorst's parents enrolled her in a Kincumber, New South Wales pre-school in February 1985, but she bit another child. The state medical officer for New South Wales said she should be barred from daycare until she was older,[2] and after her condition became known, parents of other preschoolers threatened to withdraw their children if she was re-enrolled, saying that young Eve posed a grave threat of infection.[1][3] She was eventually permitted to attend school, provided she wore a plastic face-mask at all times; some parents suggested that this was not sufficient, and that the van Grafhorsts should leave town.[4]

The van Grafhorsts did indeed leave town, moving to Hastings, New Zealand in 1986.[5] In contrast to their Australian experience, the van Grafhorst family was welcomed; Eve lived a relatively normal life and attended a local school without incident.

In 1992 she received the Variety Gold Heart Award. She died in 1993, aged 11 years. Her story had been widely reported throughout the world, and on her tenth birthday, Eve was sent a letter and signed photograph from Diana, Princess of Wales. After Eve died, her mother Gloria received a letter from Diana praising Eve for her "courage and strength".[6] The 1994 tv documentary All About Eve, produced by Vincent Burke and directed by Monique Oomen, is a biography of Eve.[7][8]

Anti-retroviral treatments became available in New Zealand in about 1997. New Zealand's annual death toll from all AIDS-related conditions fell from the mid-80s in 1993 to three to four by 2008.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Gosford dilemma". Sydney Morning Herald (Good Weekend magazine). 2 September 2014 [12 October 1985]. 
  2. ^ "Daycare refused to girl with AIDS". The Day (New London, Connecticut). 15 October 1985. p. A3. 
  3. ^ Sendziuk, Paul (2003). "Denying the Grim Reaper: Australian Responses to AIDS". Eureka Street 13 (8). pp. 16–19. Retrieved 27 August 2005. 
  4. ^ "Minister fires on Destiny Church". New Zealand Herald. 17 August 2004. 
  5. ^ a b "Angel Eve helped cut Aids deaths". stuff.co.nz. 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  6. ^ http://www.aids.net.au/news-diana.htm (broken link)
  7. ^ "All About Eve". Trove. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "All about Eve: Television – 1994". NZ on screen. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 

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