Residents of the village of Morab, near Dharwad, are now facing the prospect of having to walk several kilometres per day to get drinking water after they decided to drain all the water from a nearby lake. The reason for the extreme decision was the fact that an HIV positive woman had drowned in the lake not long ago, sparking fears among the villagers that they too would become infected via the lake's water, Times of India reported.
Nagaraj Bidralli, a local official, tried to dissuade residents of the village from the idea, explaining that the virus they were so afraid of can't survive in water. Despite his efforts, the determined villagers found the necessary equipment and proceeded with their plan to drain all the water from the 36-acre lake.
The harsh reaction to the perceived possibility of being infected with HIV is partially explained by the fact that those with the disease risk facing serious challenges in Indian society; they could even lose their jobs if their superiors learned of their malady. Recently, a court in the Indian city of Pune ordered an employer rehire an HIV-positive worker who had been fired due to his disease. The fear of being discriminated against in such a way, along with widespread ignorance regarding HIV/AIDS, only fuels this type of behaviour.