Court Finds Kyrgyz Physicians Guilty of HIV Transmission
A court in Kyrgyzstan recently sentenced nine physicians to prison for negligence that resulted in HIV transmission to children in several hospitals across the south of the country, according to a judicial source, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. According to AFP/Yahoo! News, the physicians were given prison terms ranging from three to five years and ordered to pay $10,000 in damages and interest to the children and their families.
Prosecutors said 41 children and four mothers contracted HIV at two hospitals in Kyrgyzstan (AFP/Yahoo! News, 8/6). Charges of negligence were filed against 14 medical workers who were believed to have accidentally infected the children through tainted blood and used needles. Four Kyrgyz physicians were also fired in July 2007 for accidentally infecting 10 children and one adult with HIV. Ministry of Health officials said the children and the adult contracted HIV while receiving injections and blood transfusions. Hundreds of children have been tested since the outbreak was first discovered in July 2007 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/11).
The health ministry declined to comment on Tuesday.
According to Reuters, HIV/AIDS levels have "skyrocketed" across Central Asia since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, mainly among drug users and prisoners (Reuters, 8/5).