Like many men from Nepal’s Accham district, Sarpa migrated to India for work only to return with HIV. Thankfully, a lessening of stigma – and a greater emphasis on treatment and testing – are making such stories less commonplace
Adarsh and Numa are the only two HIV-positive kids at their school, and everyone knows it. In this mud-and-brick village, so high up Nepal’s far-western hills that it takes two days by 4×4 to reach the nearest town, no secrets stay secret for long.
Like nearly every other man of working age here in Achham – a remote, mountainous district where many women are still banished to cowsheds when they menstruate – Adarsh and Numa’s father migrated to India for work. And like many other migrants seeking wealth and opportunity beyond Nepal’s borders, he returned home with a very different legacy to the one he anticipated: a life-threatening virus.