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Homearrow News and Events Year 2010 AIDS Stigma Led 25-Year-old From Colaba To Commit Suicide

AIDS Stigma Led 25-Year-old From Colaba To Commit Suicide

Times of India
26 August 2010

Cops say he could not deal with the death of his parents due to the disease, feared humiliation
Rahul Salvi’s body was found near the tennis court by workers Rahul Salvi’s body was found near the tennis court by workers
The social stigma attached to Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) led a 25–year–old from Colaba to hang himself in the tennis court of his building, police sources said.

Rahul Salvi, a resident of Badhwar Park, was stung by humiliation because his parents died of the disease two years ago, preliminary investigations by Colaba Police indicated.

He had been shunning social get–togethers for the past few months because he was terrified that people would ask about them and suggest that he was also HIV positive. He was anxious that he too would contract the disease, the police said.

"Even after two years, he was not able to deal with his parent’s death. He was scared of the social stigma," said a police officer from Colaba Police Station, requesting anonymity. Salvi, who is from Sangli was living with his aunt after his parents demise.

The family did not initially tell the police about his parents’ history. "A few relatives and neighbours told us they were suffering from AIDS," said the officer.

Relatives also alleged that Salvi’s friends had made barbed comments about him being HIV positive 15 days ago that had hurt him. The police summoned some of his friends.

"We talked to three of them but couldn’t find substantial reason to register a complaint against them," the officer added.

In their statement, Salvi’s friends said he had been consuming alcohol every day for the past two months. He did not have a job and got money from his aunt for his expenses. His body was discovered by workers who came to the tennis court, which is under construction in the morning.

The police are also trying to confirm if Salvi had tested positive for HIV. "We have sent his blood sample for a medical test to find out if he was also suffering from the disease," said the officer. Senior Police Inspector, Colaba, A K Ingle, confirmed that a case of suicide had been registered.

"Two years ago his parents died due to AIDS. We are trying to find out the reasons for which he had taken such a drastic step," he added.

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