A group of haemophiliacs who say they were infected with HIV from a tainted blood product sold by a Shanghai research institute have come to the city to demand compensation. But members of the group and an activist yesterday said they had yet to gain an audience. Roughly 40 people, including relatives of the victims, travelled to Shanghai from all over the mainland this week to demand redress from the government-backed Shanghai Biological Products Research Institute. Members of the group visited the institute twice this week, but received no pledges of help. A foreign reporter who met the group was detained by police. Policemen were shadowing the group but had not detained anyone, although members complained of harassment. Local courts have already ordered the establishment of a fund for 55 Shanghai residents who were infected by the Factor 8 clotting agent, but stopped short of placing the blame on the institute. However, people from outside Shanghai are not covered by the fund. Five non-Shanghai residents launched - and lost - a lawsuit against the institute in a local court. The court said a national pledge of free treatment to Aids patients was adequate. Activists say the Shanghai government is concerned that awarding compensation to people from outside the city would spur a flood of claims and lawsuits. The institute stopped selling the clotting agent in 1995, but those infected say it sold the tainted products even after officials became aware they might be contaminated. It is not known how many people were infected by the product. Activists claim about 10,000 haemophiliacs on the mainland used it before production stopped. Some of the Shanghai residents infected by the tainted product in the early 1990s have already died. Despite the new fund, some victims and their relatives are dissatisfied by the level of compensation.