AIDS victim sets himself on fire in Gaya

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Gaya (Bihar), July 3 (ANI): An AIDS patient in Bihar's Gaya district committed suicide by setting himself on fire.

Satyendra Malakar, who worked as a daily wage labourer in Gujarat, returned to Barorah village after falling sick. Malakar was tested HIV positive after he underwent treatment at the Patna Medical College in Patna.

Malakar went into a depression when he realised that he had also infected his wife and their children.

"He went along with his wife and children to work in Gujarat. After coming from there he got himself checked at a hospital in Patna where he got tested positive for AIDS," said Mira Devi, Malakar's mother.

The village headman said that Malakar was never considered as a social outcast by the village folk and his family participated in religious and social ceremonies.

"No one in the village discriminated against him. His family recently attended a function in the village. He also ran a grocery store," said Rajiv Ranjan, village headman.

Ruling out foul play, the police did not carry out a post-mortem and the villagers later performed his last rites.

India has 5.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS, according to the United Nations.

Lack of awareness and widespread stigma has contributed to paranoia among many people about the virus and forced thousands of patients to hide their infection and later ending up their lives. (ANI)

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