Three young HIV-infected sisters in India, aged between 10 and 16, killed themselves by consuming pesticides after being faced with social stigma and concerns about their futures.
Krishnaba Gohel, 16, and her sisters Rekhaba, 12 and Dakshaba, 10, drank the poison at their home in the Bhavnagar district on Friday. Rekhaba and Dakshaba died there, while Krishnaba died in hospital the next morning.
The Deccan Herald reported that their 42-year-old father is battling for life due to HIV, and that the girls' mother and brother succumbed to the disease a couple of years ago.
"The sisters were worried about their future as their father was also ill," DNA quoted investigating officer JR Zala as saying. "We also came to know that the mother of the deceased acquired HIV from the blood given to her during delivery years ago."
He said that the family, which resided on a farm, was not completely boycotted by villagers, but others did maintain a distance from them.
There were reports that the girls' father refused treatment for himself or his daughters.
"It is a tragic incident as we had the family registered but the father had developed a false perception that the medicines were harmful as his wife had died during treatment. Her infection was detected at the last stage," News Tonight quoted Garandhinag, an officer at the Gujarat State AIDS Control Society, as saying.
"Vinubha Gohil even threatened to attack our workers who went to persuade him to take treatment. He is one of the 59,000 HIV postive patients registered with us."
He added that the youngest girl was not HIV positive.