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Want an Indian bride? Only HIV tested need apply

Prospective grooms from Gulf seeking alliances in India are increasingly being asked to undergo HIV tests.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 04:24 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

With AIDS cases touching epidemic proportions, parents of marriageable girls seeking alliances with NRIs settled in the Gulf are increasingly asking the prospective bridegrooms to undergo HIV tests.

Societal pressures from parents and NGOs in India are driving the motion, the Gulf News reported.

"The surge in HIV positive cases in India is also one of the reasons for Gulf-based grooms being put under the scanner," an Abu Dhabi-based prominent community member, who did not want to be named, was quoted as saying by the paper.

"Not to mention that HIV positive cases are also highlighted by the media over here. I do not see any harm in parents demanding an HIV/Aids test. Who would want to risk their lives. It's better to be safe than sorry," he said.

The demand to undertake an HIV/Aids test is also due to the supposed free morals obtaining in some parts of the region, according to the daily.

"I felt scandalised when the brothers of this girl that I had set my heart on hinted that a HIV/Aids test be done. I never thought in my wildest dreams that they would be serious about it," said Sanjay Trilok Gupta, a 32-year-old Dubai-based jeweller.

"There is no point in placing the blame on anybody over this. One thing that we all are aware of is that HIV/Aids has reached epidemic proportions. I do not see any harm if required to undergo a test," said Arvind Mukherjee who works in a Dubai-based public relations agency.

According to K Kumar, convenor of the Indian Community Welfare Committee, getting medical certificates verified by both the parties is a sensible move.

However, there are some who do not agree with the argument of "better safe than sorry".

A prospective groom when asked to undertake the HIV/Aids test by his prospective in-laws in India said he felt "insulted and humiliated" in front of his parents.

"At first I thought that they were playing a prank on me. But I was shocked to learn that the whole thing was said in all seriousness," said Krishnadas, a 28-year-old businessman.

"Outraged at their demand, I asked them to get the same test done on their daughter. Whereupon I was nonplussed to find the father of the girl coolly pulled out a paper that certified his daughter's innocence in the matter."

First Published: Feb 12, 2006 14:04 IST