January 23, 2007
In Almaty on Friday, trial began in the case of 21 doctors and health officials accused of causing an outbreak of HIV in Kazakhstan. Blood transfusions from unscreened donors or the use of contaminated needles are blamed for 87 HIV infections among children, most under age three. Twelve mothers have tested HIV-positive since the first cases in the outbreak were registered last summer. The regional health department reported Friday that seven of the infected children have died. The defendants face negligence charges. Prosecutors said some of the accused are also charged with bribery, extortion and theft of state money. The trial proceedings are closed to the public.