When Bill Clinton became governor of Arkansas, that state’s prison board awarded a fat contract to a Little Rock company called Health Management Associates, or HMA. The company was paid $3 million a year to run medical services for the state’s prison system. The company paid prisoners $7 per pint of their blood. HMA then sold the blood on the international plasma market for $50 a pint, splitting the proceeds 50/50 with the Arkansas Department of Corrections. HMA’s contract with the Arkansas Department of Corrections and its entry into the blood market coincided with the rise of AIDS in the United States. But HMA did not screen the prisoners’ blood, even after the FDA issued special alerts about the higher incidents of AIDS and hepatitis in prison populations. When American drug companies and blood fractionizers stopped buying blood taken from prisoners in the early 1980s, HMA turned to the international blood market, selling to companies in Italy, France, Spain, and Japan. But the prime buyer of HMA’s tainted blood, largely drawn from Cummings Unit prisoners in Grady, Arkansas, was a company in Canada called Continental Pharma Cryosan Ltd. Cryosan had been caught importing blood taken from Russian cadavers and relabeling it as though it came from Swedish donors. The company also sold blood taken from Haitian slums. In Canada alone, more than 7,000 people have bubs1died from contaminated blood transfusions, many of them hemophiliacs. More than 4,000 of them died of AIDS. MpIn 1986, public outrage forced the cancellation of HMA’s contract, but the blood donor business was re-started by another company, Pine Bluff Biologicals. By the end of the 1980s, Arkansas was the only state still running a for-profit prison blood program, and was finally shut down by Clinton’s successor, Governor Jim Tucker, after the Clintons moved to Washington DC. Much of the Canadian AIDS and Hepatitis epidemic traces directly to the Arkansas prison-blood programs under then Governor Bill Clinton.