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BISHKEK, July 30, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The Kyrgyz president's office today ordered the country's chief prosecutor and the Health Ministry to investigate whether doctors' negligence led to an outbreak of HIV among residents of Noorkat district, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.
The office of the president told the prosecutors to find those responsible for the new HIV cases and bring them to justice.
The investigation in Noorkat, in southern Kyrgyzstan, was ordered after the emergence of reports that 14 people in the area were infected with HIV and that irresponsible medical care may have been involved.
Neighboring Kazakhstan has seen similar cases in which doctors were blamed for HIV infections. In June, a court in Shymkent sentenced 17 doctors and medical workers to prison terms of up to eight years after finding them guilty of negligence in administering transfusions of tainted blood to some 120 children, 10 of whom have subsequently died of HIV/AIDS.
Medical workers in Shymkent claimed at a news conference on July 2 that the convicted doctors were "scapegoats," and that the source of the outbreak has still not been pinpointed.