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Saudi Health Ministry under fire in case of girl and alleged HIV-tainted blood

Saudi Health Ministry under fire in case of girl and alleged HIV-tainted blood
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The case of a 12-year-old girl who reportedly received a transfusion of HIV-positive blood has sparked outrage across Saudi Arabian society, with...

6The case of a 12-year-old girl who reportedly received a transfusion of HIV-positive blood has sparked outrage across Saudi Arabian society, with angry calls for the health minister to resign. In this ultraconservative Islamic kingdom, where HIV and AIDS remain taboo subjects and open criticism of government officials is relatively rare, the case of Reham al-Hakami has prompted unprecedented widespread discussion of both issues. Mohammed Almadi, of the government-backed Human Rights Commission that is investigating the case, said Reham, who has sickle cell anemia, received a blood transfusion on February 12 at the main hospital in Jazan, her village. A few hours later, a team from the hospital came to her house to tell the family that the blood was HIV-positive. She was then airlifted to the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. It remains unclear whether Reham has tested positive for HIV.
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