Kyrgyzstan Court Sentences Nine Doctors for Infecting Kids With HIV

by VR Sreeraman on Aug 6 2008 2:52 PM

A court in Kyrgyzstan has jailed nine doctors for infecting children with HIV in several hospitals across the south of the country, a judicial source said, cited by the Aki news agency.

The doctors were given prison terms ranging from three to five years and ordered to pay 10,000 dollars (6,500 euros) in damages and interest to the children and their families, after being found guilty of negligence on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said 41 children and four mothers were contaminated at two hospitals in a scandal that was first made public in summer 2007.

Two doctors from the hospitals, as well as two more doctors at other medical centres involved in the country's blood transfusion system, were sacked in July 2007 for allowing the virus, which causes AIDS, to spread.

The health ministry said last year that the infections occurred "during injections and blood transfusions."

A similar scandal broke out last year in neighbouring Kazakhstan, where some 100 children were infected with HIV and 21 medical staff were sentenced to prison terms of up to eight years.