In yet another bizarre case of ostracizing AIDS victim, an HIV-positive tested woman was rescued from a secluded place in the remote rural area of Sangli district of Maharashtra where she was forcibly locked.
Kavita (name changed) feels sad that she had been forced to lead such a wretched life, staying in a dingy storeroom for a long time until the police rescued her.
AdvertisementShe possibly got this deadly disease from her husband who died seven years ago. Consequently she was abandoned by her brothers and forced to live in solitary confinement.
"Kavita was brought here by a men in a bullock cart. When we asked him about her, he said that her brothers have given him money to drop her here. Her brothers said she was having some mental disorder. We don't think she is mad, she talks normally," said Nagesh Mali, a neighbour.
"We found this lady in a store room. We first registered a FIR and then we broke the lock of the room. Her brothers have claimed that she is mentally imbalanced but we will look into the matter," said Krishnaprakash, Superintendent of Police, Sangli.
It is not the disease but the stigma that takes away life of many patients suffering from HIV.
The HIV positive people facing discrimination by society are common in India.
India has the world's third highest caseload with 2.5 million infections. It has an estimated 200,000 intravenous drug users, many of whom are in the remote northeast region, which borders the opium-producing Golden Triangle of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos.
Official figures show that more than 10 per cent of intravenous drug users in India are infected with HIV, a higher prevalence than among prostitutes.
The country's overall HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is about 0.9 per cent for those aged between 15-49.