January 28, 2004
According to BBC News, "[h]opes are high" that Libya will release the health care workers as early as next month in an attempt to end the country's isolation from the international community. Western diplomats have said that the health care workers were accused of spreading HIV because Libyan authorities needed someone to blame for the "tragedy," which has caused "outrage" in the country, BBC News reports (BBC News, 1/26). Kadafi has promised Western diplomats that he will intervene, but his decision is expected to have political implications. If he accepts the European opinion that the epidemic was caused by Libya's health system, he likely will win the support of Europe but will be forced to accept blame in his home country, a move that could cost more than $4 billion if Libya provides the requested compensation (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/15). However, the outcome of the trial also could be seen by many "as a test of just how serious Libya is about ending its long, and sometimes rather paranoid, isolation," according to BBC News (BBC News, 1/26). The court is expected to announce the verdicts at a hearing on Feb. 9, according to Bulgarian News Digest (Bulgarian News Digest, 1/27).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2003 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.