Plight of HIV infected in India

<Video: Pramod Mathur> 

Summary of three anecdotes in the video:

It is about people living with AIDS in Nizamabad, Hyderabad, India.



Manjula whose father, mother constructed the house, and after her father’s death they lost everything. Her husband was a truck driver, they got married 15 years back and they also have a daughter. Her husband died 10 years ago, she sold her land to save the husband but could not succeed.

She got pregnant again and was diagnosed with HIV, she had a normal delivery. Her husband still did not tell her that he is HIV infected. After six months, they were sleeping then suddenly her husband gets up, goes out and when he comes back there was foam oozing out of his mouth. He had taken poison.

After six years of her husband’s death, her daughter also died.  She got her son tested for HIV and he tested negative. “Now I know that HIV virus will remain within me like a friend till I die.  I am happy that my son is not HIV infected and I am quite positive that I will regain my health from ARV medicines.  My relatives and neighbours have been really supportive and don’t discriminate against me.”

But Laxmi confessed, “But once when I went for agricultural work and had water from the common pot, a woman over there told me not to have water from the common pot as it would infect them also. I felt like killing myself at that moment.”

Sainath, the community organizer explains that they have a meeting with the daily wage labourers to explain them that HIV does not spread by working together.


Gangamani & Sailu

Gangamani “Last summer some houses near our home were on fire so the fire brigade sprayed water on our house which resulted in it getting raised in the rainy season. So we shifted to a rented place.”

Gangamani works in agricultural fields and earns Rs. 100; most of her earnings are used for household expense and whatever her husband earns goes towards his debts.  He borrowed money to go to Dubai but over there he could not earn enough so we have the debt.

Sailu: Gangamani’s husband: “After marriage I went to Gulf for one and a half years, then my friends and relatives told me that my wife was having extra marital affairs. So I too went to 2-3 (sex workers) girls during my stay in gulf. Not sure from whom the HIV virus entered our family.”

The community organizer tells her to have more fruits and call her whenever the need arises.

Sailu says “we both tested positive for HIV and accepted it as our fate. We decided to have the child as my wife pressured saying neighbours would think something is amiss. Only two of my friends know of my status.” Sailu works around 10 days as a daily wage labourer for around Rs. 250 per day.

He got sick a few months ago and could not work as a result his debts have accumulated. Now his wife is also pregnant he doesn’t know how to pay the loan. The govt. doctor refused to abort her wife as she was 4 months pregnant and had anemia.

Gangamani says “she is worried about her daughter as well as she may also have the HIV status. I don’t want another child but I have conceived again and I cannot abort. I don’t think much and leave it to fate.”

Her daughter tests negative for HIV and the doctors advises her not to feed her breast milk.

Part 3

Laxmi and Ramalu 

They perform the traditional art form ‘ Chindu’  in 10 villages assigned  to them, rest of the days they seek daily wage work. “We face no discrimination as we have not told anyone about our status, we have told the neighbours that you are shooting a movie on Chindu artists. We abstain from alcohol, smoking etc. and advise to do so as well.”

Laxmi said “The doctor told me that I got infected by syringe, I had typhoid  and during that I was injected with an infected syringe.  Initially we did not tell anyone but now everyone in the family knows.”

Ramalu’s mother tells that they are not discriminated against in the community.

Laxmi is the first case of HIV in the Navipet area. Her husband has been a great source of strength for her. They want to have their own children to look after them.

The community organizer tells her if she takes medicines regularly and her CD4 count is good they can conceive a child. Laxmi’s sister in law fights with her as she is not able to conceive but her husband protects her.

Summerized by  Rahul Anand  Intern Reporter(India, MBA candidate at KAIST)

5 Responses to Plight of HIV infected in India

  1. Pingback: Plight of the HIV infected in Nizamabad, Hyderabad, India | THEAsiaN

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  4. Michely 5 September , 2012 at 1:01 am

    After 10 weeks, 96% of infected polpee will test positive.After 3 months, 98%+.After 6 months, 99%.The remaining 1% who take longer than 6 months to test positive usually have a health issue that suppressed their immune system, such as lupus, or immuno-suppressant therapy used by transplant patients.Older tests used to take longer to give accurate results, but modern tests (which are used by ALL clinics in every part of world) show accurate results more quickly.

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