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Summary: The Rosemary Namubiru Case

Last updated: March 12, 2014

Background: Rosemary Namubiru, a licensed and experienced nurse, suffered an accidental needle-prick while attempting to insert an intravenous canula into a young patient diagnosed with a severe case of tonsillitis. Rosemary cleaned and bandaged her finger, before returning to the child. She continued with the procedure, after which the mother raised the possibility that Rosemary may have picked up and used the same needle rather than a fresh one. The possible re-use of the needle is the focus of the trial.

It was confirmed that Rosemary is HIV-positive and the hospital began to counsel the parents on prophylactic measures for the child. Neither the mother nor the hospital alleged that Rosemary had any intention of harming the child.

After being smeared by the media and arrested on trumped-up charges of attempted murder, Rosemary's charges were downgraded to criminal negligence, a charge that carries up to 7 years in prison. Rosemary ’s trial began on February 11, 2014, and is ongoing. She has been in prison since her arrest on January 7th. As of this writing, the prosecution has called most of its key witnesses and the trial is in recess until March 19th.

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On February 16, 2014, the Global Commission on HIV and the Law issued a statement on the Rosemary Namubiru case, declaring that "Rosemary has become the subject of a nationwide smear campaign because she is HIV-positive."