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HIV infected woman drowns self in Karnataka, villagers drain lake

07 December 2018

Authorities are pumping water out of a sprawling lake in Karnataka to assuage villagers' fears it was contaminated after the discovery of the body of a woman infected with HIV, a regional official said on Wednesday. The body of the 40-year-old woman was recovered by the police of Navalgund taluk from the lake at Moraba village in Dharwad on November 28.

Afraid they would contract HIV/AIDS if they used its water, villagers at Morab, about 30 km from Hubballi, informed authorities they would not use it till fresh water was filled. The lake proved to be the only source of drinking water for the residents in the taluk, stated a report by News Minute.

'We tried our best to assure the villagers that we would get the water tested, but they did not budge and even refused to come near the lake, ' Hullur added. In the last four days, more than half the water from the lake has been drained out.

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"The villagers themselves took the initiative by providing pipes and other equipment required to pump out water from the lake".

Authorities attempted to convince them that HIV can not be transmitted by water and that there's no risk of getting the virus by drinking the water.

Pradeep Hanikere, another villager, said the daily hardship was preferable to drinking water from the lake. People in the village knew that she was HIV positive.

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Doctors have dismissed claims that the locals risk being exposed to HIV if they consume the water. The water emptied from the lake is being fed to farm land nearby. There is another problem, though. "We at least need a week to empty and fill the lake".

Navalgund tahsildar Naveen Hullur said "I will talk to officials to allow us to fill the lake from Malaprabha canal till December 20 or 22".

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HIV infected woman drowns self in Karnataka, villagers drain lake