World News

147 children infected with HIV in Uzbekistan - report

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Nearly 150 children were infected with HIV in hospitals in eastern Uzbekistan and 12 medical staff have been sentenced to jail terms of five to eight years for negligence, a news website said.

At least 14 children have died, out of 147 who were infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, in the eastern city of Namangan in 2007-8, regional prosecutor Bakhtier Shodmonov said in a documentary posted on the news portal

“Not conforming to sanitary rules and not taking anti-epidemiological measures, employees at the medical establishments were negligent in their duties. Today of 147 children, 14 are no longer alive,” Shodmonov said in the film.

The website said the footage was from a film made earlier this year for state television, but never broadcast in the tightly controlled Central Asian nation.

The infections were caused by unsterilised syringes and intravenous drips, relatives of the victims said in the film.

The press office of the prosecutor general’s office was not available for comment, and a health ministry official declined comment.

In 2008 a court in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan sentenced three doctors to three-year jail terms for negligence that led to 24 children being infected with HIV.