From HIV with Love

Posted on May 30, 2013 by drtan

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Mr. X is currently a very unhappy man. This was not the case just 6 months ago. 6 months ago Mr. X was a very happy man. He had just met Ms. Y on an internet dating site. They hit it off immediately. They would spend many nights chatting away on the internet. It always had to be exactly the same time every night as Ms. Y had to use the only computers in the village that was located in the village school compliments  of a very generous NGO. They shared a naive yet unsullied outlook on life. The fact that they lived in different countries did not stop them from planning to get married soon after meeting.

Mr. X was not what you would ordinarily consider to be rich but due to the vast chasm of economic situations between him and Ms. Y, what he would make in a month is far more than what Ms. Y could ever dream of making in a year.  Furthermore, Ms. Y just ended a marriage to an abusive husband.  Mr. X felt that he needed to take care of her. She was the personification of an innocent, shy and beautiful village flower.

They got married in a small boutique hotel where Mr. X lived. Mr. X’s friends and acquaintances would tell you that it was a modest celebration but to Ms. Y, it was the grandest wedding she had ever attended. This was made even better by the fact that it was her wedding.

They soon consummated their marriage. For the next few weeks you could hardly see them apart except for the hours Mr. X was at work. Even those short hours apart were unbearable for him and he was always overjoyed to see his beautiful wife waiting for him at the end of the day.

After a month, Ms. Y requested to return home to see her parents. She had all the excitement of a little girl with her first pair of shoes. She wanted to show her parents her wedding photos. She would be the talk of the village. Indeed by her village’s standards her wedding was fit for royalty.

Mr. X sent Ms. Y off at the airport. He could not accompany her as his company needed him on an important project. His career now taking on an added significance because he is now equally responsible for her wellbeing as his own.

During the first 2 weeks they would chat on the internet every night like they were dating all over again. One night, Mr. X logged on at the same time and to his surprise, she was not there. All attempts to contact her were in vain.

Weeks went by with no trace of her until one night she appeared again on the computer. This time nothing was the same. Her eyes were red obviously from crying. She dared not look directly at him. Her gaze was shifty and always on the floor.

It took another few days of coaxing before When she was back, an old neighbour told her that she heard rumours that her ex-husband was diagnosed with HIV. She travelled to the nearest HIV testing and treatment centre run by volunteers and there she found out that she also was infected.

It was at this point when Mr. X came to see me. I really hoped that Mr. X would not test positive. But I had that hopeless sinking feeling when I saw the positive line appearing rapidly before my eyes.

I expected anger, a sense of betrayal but Mr. X was completely calm.

‘What are your plans?’ I asked him.

‘I am going to take care of her.’ He said,‘ She is afraid. No one there knows how to help her. I will go there and take care of her.’

‘And what about yourself?’ I asked.

‘I’ll be OK.’ He said, ‘I must take care of her.’

Learning points:

There is really no learning point here. I am personally very heartened to see such unconditional love. Some of you might mock me for being sentimental.  But I have seen girlfriends who marry HIV positive boyfriends, husbands who stay with HIV positive wives, sero-discordant homosexual couples who stick with each other. So maybe the learning point here is that there is life after HIV.