Rosemary Namubiru, who is HIV positive, claims she accidentally used a needle that she had pricked herself with on a baby, whose tests have not yet shown an infection as a result. Authorities found her guilty of negligence and sentenced her to three years in jail
Correction appended, May 22, 2014
A Ugandan nurse was sentenced on Monday to three years in jail for criminal negligence involving HIV exposure.
The court found Rosemary Namubiru, who is HIV positive herself, guilty of exposing a patient to the virus, the Associated Press reports.
Namubiru has maintained her innocence, saying she accidentally pricked herself with a needle she then used to give a baby an injection. The child’s mother realized the needle had not been changed and alerted authorities, after which Namubiru was immediately arrested. According to court records, two tests have shown the child was not infected with HIV. The nurse was denied bail as a magistrate ruled she posed a danger to the public.
International activists claimed Namubiru was the victim of discrimination because she is HIV positive, and said that her trial was unwarranted. Uganda is one of the 60 countries that criminalizes the intentional transmission of HIV. According to the Ugandan Ministry of Health, 7.3%of the population is HIV positive.
Correction: The original version of this story misstated that Rosemary Namubiru intentionally spread HIV to a patient. She was found guilty of criminal negligence.