Nine more cases of HIV infections caused by faulty blood transfusions have been registered in Kyrgyzstan, taking the total number of such cases since July to 22, the health ministry told AFP Monday.
"HIV infections have been found among nine new persons, of whom seven are children below two and two are women," said Sagynaly Mamatov, head of the health ministry's AIDS unit.
"According to the latest statistics, epidemiological tests have shown 22 HIV contaminations. Five adults and 17 children have been infected in hospital during blood transfusions," he said.
The first infections surfaced in July after which four doctors were sacked for allowing the virus to spread.
Those sacked were the head doctor of the Nookatsk hospital in the country's south, the head of the regional pediatric hospital, the top doctor for the regional diseases centre, and the doctor in charge of the blood transfusion centre. Two other doctors were reprimanded.
A similar scandal broke out last year in neighbouring Kazakhstan, where some 100 children were infected with the AIDS virus and 21 medical staff were sentenced to prison terms of up to eight years.