The district administration officials of Morab in Karnataka’s Dharwad district were forced to drain a 36-acre lake after an HIV-positive woman allegedly committed suicide by jumping into it. The villagers refused to drink the water from the lake after the body of the woman was found in the lake. Reports say that the body of the deceased was found floating on the lake on November 29 and it was half-eaten by the fishes. Analysing the situation of the body, the villagers refused to drink the water claiming that it was contaminated with HIV.

Following the incident, the villagers pressed the district administration to drain the 36-acre lake. Dr Prabhu Biradar, Hubli-Dharwad City Municipal Corporation (Chief Medical Officer) said, “After the patient with suspected HIV committed suicide, people of the village have started removing water from the lake so that they don’t get HIV which is totally unscientific as HIV doesn’t spread through water”.

According to reports, the draining activity will continue till Wednesday night or the next morning. After draining the lake, it will be thoroughly cleaned before filling it with fresh water from Malaprabha canal by December 20.

When asked about the incident, Navalgund tahsildar Naveen Hullur said that the administration was left with no choice as over a thousand people came to the lake with water tankers. The asked the administration to take the necessary step or they would do it themselves. 

However, the HIV is a virus that gets transmitted through contact with infected blood, semen or vaginal fluids. It spreads via unclean needles or unscreened blood, from mother to baby or by having unprotected sex with more than one sexual partners. 

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