In Uganda, a nurse carrying the HIV virus has been jailed for knowingly trying to infect a child in her care, with the virus, via a needle. There are mixed feelings however, over her sentence as some people are of the opinion that her sentence was already biased due to her status. Continue reading…..
According to Daily Mail;
A HIV+ nurse was sentenced to three years in jail today for criminal negligence after she pricked herself with a needle before injecting a child. Rosemary Namubiru, 64, was convicted for using a intravenous needle on the child after pricking herself – a decision slammed as ‘deeply flawed’ by HIV/AIDS campaigners.
Throughout her trial, the nurse maintained she was not acting in malice and the incident was an accident. Two tests have shown the child was not infected with HIV, according to court records.
A DFID spokesperson said: ‘We ended direct payments to the Ugandan government last year.’ According to the Overseas Development Institute, the country received $1.6bn (£960m) in total from western countries in 2011, making it the world’s 20th largest aid recipient.
Following the incident in January this year, the nurse was later denied bail in a controversial decision by a magistrate who ruled that she posed a danger to the public. The nurse was charged under a colonial-era law against negligence that spreads a deadly disease.
However, since she was charged, Ugandan lawmakers have passed a law specifically criminalizing the intentional transmission of HIV as part of the government’s efforts to stem the growing rate of HIV in this East African country. That measure also has been criticized by groups that say such a law will be difficult to enforce and may also be used to violate the rights of people living with HIV.
Some organizations said her trial was unwarranted and she should only have faced disciplinary action from the local nurses’ association. Asia Russell from the Global Access Project said: ‘The deeply flawed ruling shows that stigma and discrimination against people with HIV is alive and well in Uganda.’Because of her HIV status, Rosemary’s trial was plagued from the beginning with bias. Rosemary never had the presumption of innocence, the Constitution guarantees.’
Many Ugandans, however, see her case as a shocking example of malice or negligence by a trusted medical worker. Namubiru’s arrest was widely covered in the Ugandan press, with some dubbing her, the ‘killer nurse’ – a description that some activists said violated her right to a fair trial.
According to the most recent survey by Uganda’s Ministry of Health, 7.3 percent of the Ugandan population has HIV – up from about 6 percent a decade ago.
At least 60 countries criminalize the transmission of HIV or the failure to disclose one’s HIV status to sex partners, according to AIDS-Free World.