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Kyrgyz Parliament To Discuss Money Aid For HIV-Infected Children

Parents of HIV-positive children have been demonstrating in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, for several days.
Parents of HIV-positive children have been demonstrating in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, for several days.
BISHKEK -- The issue of financial support for Kyrgyz children infected with the HIV-virus through contaminated blood transfusions will be discussed by the full parliament on November 25, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The parliament's Health Care Committee discussed the issue behind closed doors on November 22 but failed to decide how money donated for the families of the infected children should be distributed.

The parliament's coordination commission, headed by speaker Akmatbek Keldibekov, decided today that the issue should be discussed by the entire parliament.

A dozen mothers of HIV-infected children from the southern district of Osh staged their first protest in front of the parliament building last week on November 16.

They say their children were infected with the HIV virus -- which causes AIDS -- via tainted blood transfusions while in hospitals or clinics. They are demanding "justice for our children" and financial support from the government. The sick children are also taking part in the protest.

On November 17, parliament speaker Keldibekov met with the women and told them he would 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 want that money to be shared only among their families, and not among all families in Kyrgyzstan who have HIV-infected children.

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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