Below is an exerpt from a story appearing on the BBC News/Asia-Pacific website on June 26, 2008:
Reporter: Natalia Antelava
Central Asia correspondent
One year ago, an unprecedented trial took place in the southern city of Shymkent [in Kazakhstan].Twenty-one medical professionals were found guilty of infecting more than 70 babies with HIV. The number of infected children now stands at 149.
Most of the babies were infected through blood transfusions as doctors made money by prescribing unnecessary transfusions and selling blood to parents.
Court documents show one child received more than 50 transfusions during just one treatment.
It is not clear where the infected blood came from. But the prosecution suggested drug users could be one possible source.
They are the biggest HIV risk group in Central Asia. In Shymkent three drug users said it had been standard practice for them to give blood for money, and that when they did they were not checked for HIV.
The government says this is no longer the case and that all blood donors are now carefully screened, but the problem, some believe, is that the underlying cause of the outbreak still exists.
"Corruption is a particularly dangerous infection for society," says Bahit Tumeneva, a former senior Kazakh health official who left her job several years ago to protest against corruption in the medical sector.
"The doctors have to bribe in order to get jobs or to get a place for their children in school, and then they start taking bribes too. When the power of law is substituted by the power of money, all of us become hostages to situations like the one in Shymkent," she says.
Ms Tumeneva, like many, is convinced that the Shymkent and Osh outbreaks are part of a larger regional trend.
"The situation in hospitals is similar everywhere. It just happened that it was discovered in Shymkent," she says.
(For the full story see BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Central Asia's child Aids tragedy