Bad times are over, worse to come
text: Julia Sinitsyna , exclusively for Gazeta.kz
Mass HIV tests among children of South Kazakhstan each day reveal HIV cases among the children.
First it seemed that nothing could be worse than the initial shock caused by the first ten HIV cases among children. Alas, life has proven that it was only a top of an iceberg and the horror is only beginning.
By late July in South Kazakhstan the number of children with positive results of the HIV tests reached 16 (in June there were still only 10.)
In the beginning of this week the regional AIDS centre already spoke about 18 cases.
On Wednesday the regional prosecutor's office stated that there were 21 HIV cases. According to the latest information of the South Kazakhstani health department the lab tests have revealed 27 HIV cases among children.
But these statistics threaten to get significantly older in the nearest future. Doctors categorically refuse to make any forecasts about the possible number of the HIV cases among children. The HIV tests are becoming the main concern of Shymkent city and regional clinics and hospitals.
Gazeta.kz already wrote about lists on 20 thousand children under 5 that received medical treatment in medical institutions of Shymkent in the period when HIV children were receiving procedures.
In early August it was decided to carry out HIV tests among all 20 thousand children. Parents and relatives of the first part of the list received notifications about a necessity for their children to pass tests. A part of them agreed and came to medical institutions together with their children. Mass tests began. Two problems emerged right away.
The first desperate hope of the doctors that no HIV cases would be revealed anymore collapsed causing a public outcry. Results of the tests continued to reveal more and more HIV cases among children.
Moreover, already a teenager in the age of 10 was revealed with the HIV. Thus, the age level of the HIV-infected children is rising and the circle of the "suspected" children should be extended at least tenfold, including children up to 10 years of age.
However, the doctors still have troubles dealing with all 5-year old children. A second problem appears here.
Some of the parents (the precise number is unknown, but it is growing each day) are already categorically refusing to pass tests and to have any contacts with the local medicine at all.
There was one attempt at suicide on the part of a mother who learned about the HIV-infection of her child. A question arises - what is to be done with the parents that refuse to bring their children for the tests and what is to be done with the mothers that get this terrible sentence-diagnosis?
Even the regional administration that in the beginning of August was resolutely preparing to pay nearly million-worth compensations and aid the parents of the ill children from emergency funds and other sources, seeing the growing statistic data took a time out for its promises.
Of course, there are reasons for shocking even the most cynical official. All the attempts to clarify the situation show only one thing - the situation is worse than it was believed to be, and it is absolutely out of control.
So far neither the source of the HIV-infection, nor the ways of contamination have been established. Doctors still have one option in reserve, which can shed some light on these events. All the revealed HIV cases are passing very complicated lab tests in Astana and Almaty, in order to reveal the genome of virus (the HIV has several types of genomes). It will allow doctors at least to establish if children are infected with one type of genome or there are several types of the virus. Then a conclusion can be made about a single source of all infections, or about presence of several pockets of infection .
Meanwhile the police and special commissions continue investigation of the infection cases and they keep finding both confirmations and refutations of the main version about the parental way of infection, as well as earlier statements about the vertical mother-to-child way of infection.
In particular, the regional prosecutor's office published information that mothers of three infected children have still not been tested for the HIV, because their whereabouts have not been established (the fact that they left their newborn children in maternity houses and left in the unknown direction, as our website already informed earlier).
The location of several blood donors, whose blood was transfused to the children was established. At the same time the investigation has established that two of the infected children have never had any blood transfusions, which contradicted the main version about the donor way of infection…
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09.01.2013 2012 marked by multiple events in Kazakhstan