AIDS stigma - 3 sisters commit suicide

AIDS stigma - 3 sisters commit suicide

Gāndhīnagar : India | Jun 05, 2011 at 8:47 PM PDT
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Gujarat: Farmer's family in utter despair

Bhavnagar, June 6, 2011

This should not have happened in the first place. It so happened nevertheless in the remote coastal village of Khadsaliya, 25km off Bhavnagar in the Gujarat state in India.

Three sisters, Krushnaben (16), Rekhaba (12) and Dakshaba (10) committed suicide by swallowing pesticide on Friday night during their father's absence.

The girls' mother and brother had died of AIDS earlier four years ago. Their father is an AIDS patient, too.

Whenever the girls occasionally ventured out of their isolated home, they were treated as untouchables by all people. The stigma had obviously made them fed up with their lives.

When they were alone in the house, they swallowed pesticides around 11 pm at night.

According to Gujarat State AIDS Control Society, the youngest was in fact AIDS negative.

An official said some 59,000 AIDS positive patients were registered with the Society, located in Gandhinagar.

Senaratne is based in Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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