HIV positive man dies by suicide in Kerala
His relatives said he was suffering from depression for many weeks and later hung himself from a tree. His sister died after her condition deteriorated in 2008.
A young man from south Kerala, who was on the posters of the fight against AIDS with his HIV-positive sister for many years, allegedly died by suicide on Saturday, police said.
He was the last survivor of a family which fought stigma against the disease valiantly and their lonely fight attracted national attention. When late Union minister Sushma Swaraj visited the state capital in 2003 she embraced both children at a function in the Press Club saying “these photos will talk”.
Later, the state government granted them free treatment and sustenance allowance and help poured in from many other quarters.
His relatives said he was suffering from depression for many weeks and later hung himself from a tree. His sister died after her condition deteriorated in 2008 and later his grandmother also died and he was living with one of his relatives. They said the 26-year-old was upset after his “love affair” with a girl failed. Police also ruled out any foul play and said details will be available only after the post-mortem.
The young man’s father worked in Mumbai for many years and he reportedly contracted the disease after his visit to certain areas in the cit. He told his wife before his death in 1997 and later his wife also died after three years. Both children tested positive later.
Initially the family kept the information confidential but later it leaked out and the children were thrown out of their school and local church. Later both children along with their grandparents staged a protest outside their school and the government intervened to ensure their education. Their plight attracted national attention then and the government also used their photos to remove stigma against the disease. The state later started a campaign to de-stigmatise the victims and bring them to the mainstream. Many HIV-infected people later came out to disclose their medical status.