Dharwad: Residents of Morab drained a 36-acre lake on Wednesday after an HIV-positive woman allegedly committed suicide by jumping into it, reported news agency ANI.

Chief Medical Officer of Hubli-Dharwad City Municipal Corporation, Prabhu Biradar told ANI: “After the patient with suspected HIV committed suicide, people of the village have started removing water from the lake.”

Biradar called the villagers’ act as totally unscientific as HIV doesn’t spread through water. The body of the 40-year-old woman was recovered by the police of Navalgund taluk from the lake at Moraba village in Dharwad on November 28.

Once the residents found that the deceased woman was positive to HIV, they flushed out the water from the 32-acre lake, thereby flooding a nearby government school. The lake proved to be the only source of drinking water for the residents in the taluk, stated a report by News Minute. The report stated that the residents had demanded to the gram panchayat that the lake’s water be replaced by fresh water from the Malaprabha Right Canal. Even the health officials could not convince the people that their idea of contracting the infection by drinking the water is a myth.

The deceased identified as Aishwarya had gone missing on November 26. Police suspect that the victim had committed suicide because of the stigma attached to HIV.