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Patients, Hospital Reconcile in HIV Infection Case
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Fifteen patients who were infected with HIV during blood transfusions at a hospital in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province have agreed to accept the hospital's offer of compensation.

The hospital will provide the victims with a lump sum payment of 200,000 yuan (US$25,500) plus 3,000 yuan (US$382) a month, local officials told Xinhua on Friday.

The 15 patients contracted the HIV virus after being treated at the hospital associated with Heilongjiang Construction Farm in Bei'an County in September 2004. It's reported to be the largest case in China of patients being infected with HIV at a hospital where they were being treated.

Three of the 15 patients passed the virus to their spouse and a mother infected her child, bringing to 19 the total number of victims.

They launched a lawsuit against the hospital demanding 30 million yuan (US$3.75 million) in total compensation but have now reconciled with the lower offer, said sources with the Heilongjiang Farm Intermediate People's Court.

Eighteen victims have developed AIDS and two have died, the sources said. Three staff members of the hospital were sentenced in June 2005 to two, five and ten years in jail respectively, for illegally collecting.

(Xinhua News Agency December 2, 2006)

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