Linked with Positive Women Network of South India.
Published on Rediff.com, by Shobha Warrier, not dated.
Kausalya got married all right. When she was 19, to a relative. That was in 1995. A few weeks later her husband tested positive for AIDS. All she knew about the disease at that point was that “it was dirty, and anyone who caught it would die”.
“It was very cruel of him to marry me because he was tested positive before,” she said. “The doctors had asked him not to marry, but he did not pay heed.” Seven months on, Kausalya’s husband died, leaving her HIV-positive. “All my dreams were shattered,” she said. “I could only wait for death.”
Time erased her tears, only to replace them with a dull sense of despair. She contemplated suicide. But friends persuaded her not to take her life. Then, slowly, she began wanting to live again. To fight AIDS. And the best way to do that, she felt, was to educate people, especially girls like her, about the disease …
… Yes. Were it not for organisations like the PWN, Kausalya and Padmaja, and thousands like them, would have surrendered to AIDS without a fight.
“I thought I would not be able dream again, but I do have dreams now,” Kausalya said. “I dream of helping the unhappy. People should know everything about the HIV virus. I want to make everyone aware of the disease so that nobody will get this virus in future!
“As a teenager, there was only me in my dreams. But today at the age of 24, I see many people.” (full text).