Firdos Sagar, a 24-year-old mother of two who lives in Mumbai’s northern suburb of Goregaon, was devastated when her blood sample tested positive for HIV. The blood tests were conducted at the Mumbai municipality-run M.W. Desai Hospital in Malad, another suburb adjacent to Goregaon.
At this difficult point in time, Firdos’ husband Nazim Sagar (33), an electrician, stood by his wife. He took Fridos, pregnant at the time, for another round of tests, this time at a private clinic. To the couple’s relief, the blood test results came out negative. To be doubly sure, Firdos underwent a third round of tests at the government run Cooper Hospital. The third test too returned negative for HIV.
In between all this running from hospital to hospital, Firdos had a miscarriage.
At the time of the first HIV test on April 7, Firdos was seven weeks pregnant. The test was part of the routine check-up that pregnant women undergo in their first trimester. When a doctor at M.W. Desai Hospital told her she was HIV positive, for the next two hours she didn’t know what was happening around her. Shocked, she sat on the hospital bench and silently wept.
“Main toh khudkhushi kar leti agar woh report sahi hoti, (I would have committed suicide had the report been correct),” she said. “I was so upset at that time, vile thoughts filled my head.” For two weeks, Firdos was so nervous she couldn’t hold a glass of water.
Nizam trusted his wife despite what blood tests had revealed. “I was not ready to accept that she was HIV positive,” he said. “I spoke to a friend and then decided to go for more tests at a private clinic and at Cooper Hospital.” Copies of the results of all three tests are with the Hindustan Times.
“Had this happened to some other couple, it might have broken the family. I have full faith in my wife. But, I want the doctor who declared her HIV positive… who is responsible for the miscarriage… to be punished should be punished,” Nazim said.
M.W. Desai Hospital’s chief medical superintendent Seema Malik said she would enquire into the matter.