Villagers refuse to drink water from a lake where a woman with hiv infection died

In Karnataka, India, the lake was emptied after the body of a deceased woman was found. She was infected with hiv, which the villagers are now refusing even water to drink.

The lake is the only source of drinking water for the people and animals on the spot, but still, the government, the residents did not convince that it is safe to the water to continue to consume. “We try to explain why they should not panic, but it’s not helping,” says Dr Rajendra Doddamani, gezondheidsofficier of the Dharwad district at Times of India. The residents refuse water even to drink, and require that the lake is emptied because they fear becoming infected with the hiv virus.

“When a person with hiv infection dies, so dies the virus also’, says Dr Glory Alexander, co-founder of the Asha Foundation. “Even when the virus leaves the body, it dies within a few seconds. There is no risk that the virus is spread through the water.”

The water now for four days, drained to a nearby stream. It will certainly be another five days for all the water is gone. In total, there will be one to two weeks to completely empty the pump, and re-fill with water from the Malaprabha canal. The inhabitants of the village walk 2 to 3 kilometres to get water to that channel.

The woman’s body was found on november 29th, her body was already in a far state of decomposition. She died probably by suicide.

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