Ranjana's story

Ranjana is 25 years old. She stays in Nagpada and has been married for three years. Her husband has a clerical job with a travel agency. They have no children.

I had an arranged marriage and live with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law. In the beginning, l had no idea about AIDS. My husband was tested for HIV only after being ill for a whole year. We were shocked when he tested positive - l realized he could die any time.

Some say that he probably had relations with other women, but he's convinced that he got infected during his hernia operation - unko do bottle knoon chadhaya tha(he had to take two bottles of blood). He was healthy before the operation. Now he has no appetite and has become very thin.

His treatment is going well. At first l was a little afraid of being around him, but now l'm the one to give him his medicines when he feels low. These days he's lost in his own world, and does not go to work. His company wants him to recover completely before coming back and is also paying his medical bills.

Sambandh? (sex)He doesn't feel like it. He's become weak, no? So he can't do it. But it's not like l won't sleep with him again. Pati to bhagwan hote hain. Bas time aane par(husband is like god, let the time come)..let him get a little better. Hame to apne aap par control rakhna chahiye.(we must control ourselves.

There has been no real difference at home. We have not told anybody. He kept his test results from us for the first 5-6 months, as he was afraid of my parents' disapproval. He was also scared that l'd leave him.

My father says that l should leave my husband and get married again. Whatever happens, it's my destiny. I have sworn never to be a burden on my father. I have studied up to my SSC, and had hoped to work at some small job. My husband had also said that l could do whatever l wanted - courses, services - but l was unable to do anything because he fell ill, and l had to take care of him. Although l am negative, l will not leave my husband's side. I have that much strength.

Women will never be free. Men will keep going to them….where there is honey, there are bees. Unless the government tries to remove these women, it's going to be useless. Men are unable to control themselves, but women are. I don't think of myself as free. But as long as l have my husband, l am happy. I don't need anything else. I would have left him if he had beaten me. But it's not like that.

We never fought very much, and this hasn't changed over time;in fact, we're closer and understand each other better now.


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