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Kyrgyz Parliament Disagrees On Aid For 'HIV-Children'


Mothers of HIV-infected children have been picketing the Kyrgyz parliament for several days.

Mothers of HIV-infected children have been picketing the Kyrgyz parliament for several days.

BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz parliament committee has failed to agree on the distribution of money for HIV-positive children from the southern Osh region, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Parliament officials told RFE/RL that the discussion will resume on November 23.

A dozen mothers of the HIV-infected children from Osh have been protesting in front of the parliament building for several days.

They say their children were infected with the HIV virus -- which can lead to the AIDS disease -- via tainted blood transfusions while in hospital or clinics. The sick children are also taking part in the demonstration.

On November 14, the women protested outside the main health clinic in Osh. Two days later the women rallied in front of the parliament building in Bishkek demanding "justice for our children" and financial support from the government.

On November 17, parliament speaker Akmatbek Keldibekov met with the women and told them he will allocate 1.5 million soms ($32,200) from the speaker's special fund to help the victims.

The protesters told RFE/RL on November 21 that they are picketing the parliament to demand that money given by Keldibekov be shared only among their families and not among all families in Kyrgyzstan who have HIV-infected children.

The women told RFE/RL on November 22 that parliament deputy Damira Niyazalieva had told them that the money allocated by Keldibekov may be given to the AIDS/HIV center in Osh to be distributed equally among 287 children who have been infected with HIV from contaminated blood.

The women say they oppose that option. They also want the monthly state allowance of 3,000 soms ($65) for the treatment of HIV-positive children to be significantly increased; medical personnel who allegedly gave the contaminated-blood transfusions to be brought to trial; and every family with an HIV-infected child to be given a free apartment in Osh and 1 million soms ($21,500) in financial assistance.

Read more in Kyrgyz here
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