30 November 2010
By Shashwat Gupta Ray
Putting their traumatic past behind, a HIV positive couple in the city will tie the knot on December 1, World AIDS Day, and make a new beginning.
"I got married in 1998 and was living in Kolhapur with my in–laws. Three years after our marriage, my husband fell seriously ill. He was shifted to Mumbai and was found HIV+," Sunita Kumari told Sakal Times. Her husband passed away in 2002, after passing on the disease to her.
"We had a son in 2000. Fortunately, he tested negative. But my husband's demise brought me misery at my mother–in–law's hands. Finally, I left my in–law's place and shifted to Pune with my son," Sunita said.
She began working with NGOs in the city. She worked as a counsellor for TB patients. She met her prospective husband Vijay Jadhav (name changed on request) at a matrimonial camp for HIV+ people held on August 1.
"I was working in Mumbai as a security guard. I got married in 1998. In 2000 when my wife got pregnant, she tested HIV+. I too tested positive. She delivered a baby girl, who was HIV(–). My wife passed away after couple of years," Jadhav said. He lost his job, his in–laws turned him away and even refused to allow him meet his daughter. Disheartened, he too shifted to Pune in search of a new life.
"My in–laws held me responsible for my wife's death. So they don't even allow to even talk to my daughter. It depresses me. But I wanted to live with dignity. So I started working here with a private security company. They employed me knowing my health status," he said.
Now the couple seek to start a new life together, giving each other much–needed support.
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