- Chennai, May 5th, 2008 -
"Hi, I am Daisy
and I am from Chennai. I am a 39 year-old woman working in INP+ as a
program staff. Currently I am living a happy life and I am enjoying
my work with my colleagues. I provide services towards
people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) and to the society.
10 years ago, I was working as a medical laboratory technician
outside of India. At that time, people pricked my life daily with
tremendous thorns, because of the HIV virus in my body.
I was diagnosed HIV+ in 1998. I diagnosed myself, because I was
working in the blood bank department and during blood donation, I
used my blood for control tests. I was shocked because my test
sample was positive. I was abroad and no one was there to counsel
me. I felt fear and frustration. I ran to the hospital library to
search for information about AIDS. What is it? And how many days do
I have left to live? There were so many questions going through my
mind. However, there was no information in the library. All I had
was the HIV test-kit that said that sample 1 and sample 2 were
positive, accompanied by a danger symbol (a cross).
I took an emergency leave from my work to come back to India and see
my husband. In India, I wasted 100,000 Rupees on Quack medicines
that, according to the doctors, would cure me from the virus in my
body. But of course, these doctors gave me the wrong information.
There is no cure for HIV. I didnít know that at the time.
During that time, I also saw that my husband was getting very sick.
He had AIDS. I made a very big mistake. My understanding at that
time was that the HIV virus in my body could be cured within a few
months, but AIDS could not be cured. Because this was my
understanding, I didnít allow my husband to come close to me or show
any affection towards me. I didnít allow him to be a real husband to
me. This has lead to huge misunderstandings between me and my
He was a naturally short tempered and angry person. This situation
had made him even more aggressive and he started torturing my life.
He wouldnít allow me to go back to my job. He wouldnít even allow me
to stay and work anywhere in India or another country by myself. So
wherever I went to work, he would disclose my status to the people
around me without my permission. My privacy and confidentiality was
gone; my whole family, neighbors, relations and church members
abandoned me. The situation made it impossible for me to stay in my
hometown, so with support of a few friends, I left and joined an
Slowly, I was counseled by doctors and social workers and I was
given a job by the people of my network. After 6 years I saw my
husband again and I spoke with him. After that, he died, and I
became a widow. Since then, I have been taking care of my daughter,
mother in law, father in law and sister in law by myself. My self
esteem has increased and I now have the courage to live in this
Now, whenever I see widows living with HIV/AIDS like me, my sprit
wants to empower my people. And that is just what Iím doing now. I
am showing my positive face and voice to the community and I am
fighting for the rights of PLHIV. Iím fighting for a dignified,
respectable and good quality of life for PLHIV. And I will continue
to fight for PLHIV rights until I die.
I would like to end my story with 2 key messages to PLHIV, as well
as to the general public:
- Ongoing counseling is essential and crucial.
My daughter asks about her dad all the time. If counseling would
have been there a long time ago, a lot of things in our life would
have been different and my daughter would not be feeling like
- Proper information should be provided and accessible anywhere,
and also accessible for disabled (blind, deaf, etc.) and
If I had access to information about HIV/AIDS when I was
diagnosed, I would not have wasted 1 lakh worth of Ďmedicinesí to
Ďcureí the virus. Even though my parents and relations have a
medical teacher background, nobody knew about counseling centers
or where to access information.
Finally, I would like to say that My life is smooth and happy now
because of Godís grace. I trust in the Lord. He leads me.
This is my story.