Susheel Jha has had an unusual experience with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A resident of the central suburbs, he proudly announces unlike many HIV–positive patients, he has never been bedridden by frequent bouts of illnesses. He credits his health to his family and hisemployer, the Indian Railways, who have been supportive ever since he was diagnosed with HIV while randomly donating blood at a donation camp way back in 1997.
The unusual patient scaled another height three months back; he became the first HIV–positive person in Maharashtra to undergo a kidney transplant. In the stigma–ridden world of HIV/AIDS, 45–year–old Jha’s story holds out hope for the two–million–plus Indians living with HIV.
HIV diagnosis: 1997
On ART since: 2000
Kidney failure: 2006
Transplant operation: November 26, 2009
HIV patients were not considered transplant candidates as doctors thought the disease weakened their immune system, and thus their chances of survival
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