Kyrgyz Children HIV Trial Looms

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyz prosecutors said late last week that 14 health professionals would face trial on charges of infecting children with HIV.

A spate of HIV infections that affected 41 toddlers and eight adults has shocked Kyrgyzstan, deepening concerns over conditions in medical facilities and the quality of health workers.

The Prosecutor General's Office said the health workers in the southern Osh region have been charged with negligence while administering injections and blood transfusions.

Officials said the source of the infection was difficult to identify because the first child to be diagnosed with HIV had been hospitalized 12 times in various medical centers throughout Kyrgyzstan.

Hundreds of children and their mothers have been checked in southern Kyrgyzstan since the first cases were reported in July.

About 1,500 people have HIV in the country of 5 million, according to official figures, 15 times more than in 2002.