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HIV Positive Girls Face Boycott

Two little girls in the Indian State of Orissa are facing a social boycott as they have tested HIV positive. The sisters Kanaklata and Rashmita have only their uncle to count on for help. // They don’t even go to school or play outside. Their father Sourendra worked in Mumbai as a laborer for nearly 15 years. When he returned home he was stricken with illness, Sourendra's elder brother Gouranga Naik said. Sourendra who was suffering from AIDS passed away in 2002.

His wife too died of AIDS in November 2005 and the children were orphaned, said Gouranga who is also a laborer, and has five daughters of his own to take care of. The problem began when volunteers of an NGO took Rashmita and Kanaklata to a health center in November, Both girls were found infected by the HIV positive virus.

The villagers barred them from attending school fearing that they might spread the disease. The children have been ostracized by other villagers as well. AIDS has killed 459 people in Orissa between January 2002 and September 2005.

Edited (IANS)

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