Uganda nurse is sent to jail over spreading HIV - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Uganda nurse is sent to jail over spreading HIV

Posted: Updated:

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) -- A Ugandan court on Monday sentenced a nurse to three years in jail after finding her guilty of criminal negligence for intentionally trying to infect her patient with HIV.

The conviction came despite the work of international activist groups that had rallied in support of Rosemary Namubiru, who is 64 and is HIV positive.

Many Ugandans, however, see her case as a shocking example of malice or negligence by a trusted medical worker.

Namubiru maintained her innocence throughout the trial, saying there was no malice involved when she accidentally pricked herself one day in January and then used the same contaminated needle to give a baby an injection. When the child's mother realized the needle had not been changed, she raised an alarm and Namubiru was immediately arrested. She was later denied bail in a controversial decision by a magistrate who ruled that she posed a danger to the public.

Two tests have shown the child was not infected with HIV, according to court records.

Prosecutors insisted a crime had been committed, but international activist groups said Namubiru was the victim of stigma and discrimination because of her HIV status and that her trial was unwarranted. Namubiru should have faced the disciplinary hearing by a professional body such as the local nurses' association, not a criminal trial, said the Global Access Project, a New York-based advocacy group.

"The deeply flawed ruling shows that stigma and discrimination against people with HIV is alive and well in Uganda," Asia Russell, the group's director of international policy, said on Monday. "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."

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.

Although the nurse was charged under a colonial-era law against negligence that spreads a deadly disease, Ugandan lawmakers have since 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.

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, a New York-based advocacy group that opposes the criminalization of HIV transmission.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • New app helps teens calm anxiety

    New app helps teens calm anxiety

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:46:49 GMT
    Anxiety disorders affect one in eight teens. There are medications and therapies that can help alleviate symptoms, and now there’s even an app that can help. The MindShift app aims to teach young adults how to combat everyday anxiety, panic, conflict and worry. Teens can input their symptoms and the app will create a plan to help reduce stress. Created by two non-profit organizations, Anxiety BC and BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Mindshift app gives users the ability to ...
    Anxiety disorders affect one in eight teens. There are medications and therapies that can help alleviate symptoms, and now there’s even an app that can help. The MindShift app aims to teach young adults how to combat everyday anxiety, panic, conflict and worry. Teens can input their symptoms and the app will create a plan to help reduce stress. Created by two non-profit organizations, Anxiety BC and BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Mindshift app gives users the ability to ...
  • Toddler crashes Jeep, runs home to watch cartoons

    Toddler crashes Jeep, runs home to watch cartoons

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:07 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:07:54 GMT
    MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. (AP) -- Police say a toddler crashed a Jeep into an Oregon home, then ran back to his home to watch cartoons. Authorities say the 3-year-old boy who was wearing only a diaper climbed into the Jeep Tuesday evening and knocked it out of gear. Witnesses say it rolled down the street, through an intersection and into the house, causing minor damage. KPTV reports (http://bit.ly/1rhWlK6 ) an officer found the boy on a couch watching TV as if nothing had happened. He said his par...
    MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. (AP) -- Police say a toddler crashed a Jeep into an Oregon home, then ran back to his home to watch cartoons. Authorities say the 3-year-old boy who was wearing only a diaper climbed into the Jeep Tuesday evening and knocked it out of gear. Witnesses say it rolled down the street, through an intersection and into the house, causing minor damage. KPTV reports (http://bit.ly/1rhWlK6 ) an officer found the boy on a couch watching TV as if nothing had happened. He said his par...
  • Former contractor says she was attacked by rats at DC's Providence Hospital

    Former contractor says she was attacked by rats at DC's Providence Hospital

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:03 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:03:00 GMT
    It is an odd and very disturbing story. A hospital contractor in Northeast D.C. was attacked by rats on the job and they are the same rats she says are eating bodies in the morgue.
    It is an odd and very disturbing story. A hospital contractor in Northeast D.C. was attacked by rats on the job and they are the same rats she says are eating bodies in the morgue.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices