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Elango Ramchander: Living life positively


india Updated: Nov 29, 2005 20:51 IST

I never thought I would lead the life I am leading today. Today, I would say I am living life very positively. But it didn't quite begin that way.

It was in 1988 that I came to know of my positive status. It is difficult to express the fear I felt. In the country where ostracism is a way of life, being HIV positive is the worst, especially due to the implication that one had had sex outside marriage. A sacrilege by any measure in our society.

My fear was far more fundamental in nature. All I knew was that I was dying. That this killer disease would consume me. The fear that my family might face social ostracism stopped me from telling them the truth.

I was a photographer. The nature of my job entailed frequent travels. It so happened that I was in Vellore, in Tamil Nadu, in 1988. I have been in the habit of donating blood in the past. A woman in advanced stage of pregnancy there needed blood. Since I am O+, a universal donor, and as it was usual in my custom, I went ahead with it. My blood was screened and that changed my life forever. I tested positive!

First Published: Dec 01, 2003 21:23 IST