BISHKEK, September 6, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Seven more children and two adults have tested positive for the HIV virus in southern Kyrgyzstan.
"All of these [new HIV] cases are in the Osh region. All the children and adults that were in contact with those [infected] children during their hospital treatment are being tested now. About 700 people have been tested and those tests continue," Health Ministry spokeswoman Yelena Bayalinova told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service today.
Ten children under two years of age and three adults were previously diagnosed with HIV in the Osh region.
The previously discovered infections all occurred at the Nookat Hospital and the children were all two years old or younger.
A number of local health officials have been dismissed. President Kurmanbek Bakiev has urged the authorities to bring the health officials responsible to justice.
Bakiev has also ordered the allocation of 150,000 soms ($4,000) from the presidential reserve fund to provide aid to the victims.
In the southern Kazakh city of Shymkent, at least 132 children and 16 adults have been infected with the deadly virus and several have died of AIDS, according to RFE/RL's Kazakh Service.
Some 21 health-care workers and local officials were sentenced for their roles in failing to use or check that sterile equipment was being used and that the blood from local blood banks was not contaminated.