Anjali's Story

Anjali's husband runs a chow cart and while is a housewife. The couple fell in love and Anjali married him even though he is uneducated. She has studied up to her second year of BA and is financially well off. They have been married for five years.

Anjali's husband had a wound on his penis that was taking very long to heal; he would also get high fevers and diarrhea. Anjali has worked as a compounder(nurse) before and knew about HIV / AIDS. When she suggested he get himself tested, he refused. They had an argument. Anjali threatened to get herself tested if he didn't - she had full confidence that she would not test positive; she had never been 'out' anyplace. He still refused. Finally, she took him to her family doctor, who advised 'some' tests. Her husband did not know that his blood was being tested for HIV as well. He tested positive. Anjali was the one to break the news to him.

The communication between them has been very poor ever since. Anjali used to think she was safe because she trusted him. Although she'd never ask about his whereabouts, she noticed that he had stopped sharing details of the day with her once they were married. She accepted this aloofness as part of the personality then, but does not now. Now she thinks about long ago incidences when he went out all night and didn't tell her - he just walked in the next morning. "If her tells me I will forgive him, but I want him to tell me. I think I love him a little less now. I used to stay up all night when he got a fever. Now I just turn over and go to sleep."

Her biggest concern is that her husband has not confessed to her about 'going out'. She says she fights with him a lot, and is sure he knows why. He is very quiet in front of her. He expresses a lot of love, but never responds to any of her questions. She tells him, "Tum mujhe itna pyar karte ho, zaroor tumbare dil me koi knot hai." He laughs, and does not get angry about it - he just continues to maintain that he never went anywhere.
Anjali has known she is HIV positive for 2-3 months now. She feels that it is okay for her to tell people, but is always advised not to. Her parents and sisters know her status and so does her brother-in-law, who is very understanding. He knows that it is likely that his brother has been sleeping with other women because he is often missing from the chow cart for the whole day. Now they listen to AIDS awareness program's together and discuss them.

Anjali agrees that people should tell each other their status, so that if they are in love, they can make an informed choice However, she does believe that people with HIV should not get married. "It is an incurable disease, you die!" She says she would neither marry a man who was HIV positive, not marry if she knew she was HIV positive. When we said, but "sabke armaan hote bain," she replied, "Mein maar dalti apne armaano ko.."

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