These HIV positive women have defeated virus with grit | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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These HIV positive women have defeated virus with grit

When her husband died, little did Baljeet Kaur (name changed) know that he had left her distraught in more ways than she could imagine.

punjab Updated: Dec 01, 2015 09:51 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Virus is on decline in the city.
Virus is on decline in the city.(HT Photo)

When her husband died, little did Baljeet Kaur (name changed) know that he had left her distraught in more ways than she could imagine.

Her husband had been suffering from fever, diarrhoea and had lost weight drastically, but it was only months after his death five years ago that Baljeet actually found out why he had refused to go to a doctor.

She had started to suffer similar symptoms. “I underwent medical tests and was diagnosed with HIV-AIDS,” Baljeet says.

Baljeet’s husband was a truck driver and she had not the slightest idea that AIDS would kill him. She had never heard of the killer disease.

In fact, when a counsellor at Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society (SACS) told her that she was an HIV-AIDS patient too, she only wept and wept. But then, that was five years ago. Today, Baljeet is not only taking on the disease gracefully, but also motivating other women who were kept in dark by their HIV-positive husbands. She is happily remarried.

‘Kept in the dark’

According to Vihaan, an NGO registered under NACO, most of the woman HIV-AIDS patients associated are women who got the disease from their husbands.

“In Chandigarh, around 1,500 HIV-positive people are registered with us and 50 % of them are women,” said a counsellor associated with the NGO.

But now, all that matters is that the women are living brave lives. At SACS, the women do not consider themselves patients, and are taught not to be ashamed of being HIV positive.

Many of these women even participate in awareness programmes and educate others about the preventive measures.

Reena, 40, had also not known that her husband had died of HIV-AIDS in 2002 until she was diagnosed with it. But now she is living “just like any other healthy human being”.