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A Major HIV Outbreak in Kazakhstan

A major HIV outbreak has been reported in Kazakhstan. The Central Asian nation is jolted by the outbreak. Subsequent investigations conducted attribute the outbreak to// incompetence and corruption among doctors and nurses.

The latest case is that of a woman hailing from Shymkent, whose infant child had already been found infected. The number of confirmed cases has risen to 9 mothers and 81 children.

"Last week a new HIV case was diagnosed, so we have nine HIV-positive mothers," Natalia Babina, the chief physician of the regional AIDS centre, told reporters.

Health officials continue to check thousands of children who they fear might have contracted HIV at hospitals in Shymkent, a city about 1,600 kilometers (990 miles) south of the capital Astana.

It is not yet clear how the woman got infected, but it is believed to have resulted by blood transfusion from unchecked donors or contaminated needles. This has been found to be the cause for infection in 81 children, most of them under the age of three, who tested positive for HIV in the past few weeks.

Seven children are reported to have died of AIDS-related diseases, officials said.

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