Number of HIV infected children in south Kazakhstan rises to 61

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The Kazakh health minister and a regional governor were dismissed last week after a total of 55 children and two adults tested positive for the HIV virus following blood transfusion, four of whom have already died.
ASTANA, September 26 (RIA Novosti) - The number of HIV infected children in the South Kazakhstan Region has climbed to 61, the republic's health authorities said Tuesday.

The Kazakh health minister and a regional governor were dismissed last week after a total of 55 children and two adults tested positive for the HIV virus following blood transfusion, four of whom have already died.

"As of this moment, the republic's AIDS Center has confirmed positive [HIV] results in 61 children, while eight more samples are undergoing repeat testing," said Talgarbek Mayirkhanov, acting director of the region's public health department.

Regional governor Bolat Zhalkyshiyev and Health Minister Yerbolat Dosayev were dismissed from their posts for the poor performance of their duties, said Nurlan Abdilov, deputy secretary of the Security Council.

The Kazakh Prosecutor General's office earlier said a criminal case was launched in July, but that only 50% of 9,800 children under two, and all medics who had contact with HIV-infected children, have been examined.

Medics also failed to find and examine all 17 donors thought to be involved in the blood transfusion scandal.

Abdilov said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev took the investigation into the infection case under his personal control.

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