Staff Reporter

Tatipaka (Konaseema): The social stigma attached to HIV/AIDS seems to be slowly disappearing, particularly in rural areas. Urbanites may have some inhibitions, but innocent villagers, like those in Tatipaka, are treating two HIV positive persons with no discrimination.

On Friday night, a couple, B. Muneeswara Rao and Umamaheswari, attempted suicide in Pasarlapudi village, Mamidikuduru mandal, in East Godavari district. They had married only eight months ago. Recently, she tested HIV positive following a test conducted in a private hospital.

She was also found to be three months pregnant. Her husband Rao was asked to go for a test and he also tested positive.

Husband dies

Ms. Umamaheswari’s relatives supported the family and assisted her in going to hospital once a week. However, the couple discussed their HIV cases at length during the nights for a month. On Friday they consumed pesticide and Rao died on the spot. She was rushed to Tatipaka hospital. However, on Saturday, the additional DMHO who is the AIDS control officer, Pavan Kumar, went to Tatipaka to counsel Umamaheswari.

He was left with the choice of shifting her to Razole hospital where a gynaecologist is available.

Meanwhile, Ms Umamaheswari told her relatives that she will fight back to save herself and the foetus.