Thursday, August 13, 2009

Living With The Virus

No, not what you are thinking. Sorry, to disappoint all you patrakaar dostlog, I am not hitting headlines as someone who is SwineFlu affected and at large.

One of my online friends has tested positive for HIV. I just met him on Tuesday for the first time. And I am the only one who knows of his HIV status. He was crying. I heard him out and let him cry. He had contracted the virus from someone when he just for once had tried to experiment with a bare back with one of his fling sexual relations. I wondered for quite some time why he had chosen to tell me of all people.. and asked him too. Guess there was some inner voice that told him that I will not judge or discriminate against him. I comforted him and told him that the virus is not as deadly as it used to be and that there are retroviral drugs that will build immunity. I suggested that he does the advanced PCR test that is the sure indicator of the virus. Though I did know of what he had told me and the tests that he had done and weight loss... etc that he could well be HIV positive. I dint want to sympathize with him or add to the tears and fears that already lurk him. I told him, "make the virus your friend" and it will live in you without troubling you, just as the many thousand microorganisms in your body." He was scared and thought there would be certain death that he will face soon, and worried about his mother and father who were dependent on him. I just replied lightening the mood "what a tragedy it would be if you wasted time dreaming about a death due to HIV and you die because of a car accident or swine flu"... he moved his eyelids emoting a mild laughter. I added "you will die when you have to die, you have no choice of death... but you do have a choice to live the life according to your terms... maybe you dint look at your life so closely, now this is just a chance for you to do what you haven't done, to see what you haven't seen" . He then mentioned that he was thinking of being a priest or a monk... I quickly told him, now that he has to be careful about sex, he needn't turn a monk. He smiled. He asked me about Sex, he clarified that he was bisexual and dreamt of a wife and kids some day... he again went into a low saying something that I guess he felt he had sinned. I smiled and replied "making love is no sin. Making love without condom is Sin. I told him with technology, sins get redefined. Like now... Plastic usage is a sin. But using plastic or latex condoms is not. Gods never had condoms then, else they wouldn't have called it a sin. I added with my usual funny bone.

He was jumping from one issue to the other, he asked me about having sex... will he never get to have sex. I told him. He could have sex still. Just he has to ensure that his partner is also HIV positive. He will then have nothing to worry about. He asked me about being a father, a thought that harbored in his mind for long. I advised him against it strongly. I shared with him information about what the virus does, what are the tests… The difference between HIV and AIDS. And how he should be careful about a few simple things.

He took another sip of the Cafe Coffee Day ka coffee and was lost in his thoughts, and after a few moments of silence... He asked "how do you know so much , are you also HIV positive ? " I told him I am people positive, and humanity positive, and every demon and human is my friend… be It HIV or you who has a big heart to co-exist with the mighty virus.. "I smiled, he smiled... and then i told him... that I have also tested myself for the virus, and have been in the same fear that he harbors. Just that I had never practiced unsafe sex with choice. I added that I tested HIV negative.

Anticipating he could add "how can you know how it feels when you have not been through exactly the same..." I asked "How do you feel when you need to pee very urgently, where do you feel pain... " he said "testis".. I replied "Kidney". I elucidated pain is relative, we feel at different places, we feel different emotions to the same thing. I can't feel for you, or like you, I can only think and perceive how you feel. I can't actually feel, how you feel. " "but" I added, i can definitely say, that you can be either a loser of your today, and live a life thinking of your past, and dreaming about a future or you could be a winner and win this moment that you are in.. Now. " I told him that he can live his life on his terms, just that he needs to be a little careful. He needs to live to the fullest; I said... and create moments worth dying for. He reflected in the glory of joy when hen I told him "Main Khud Ka Favorite Hu... kareena jaise" ... I tomtomed "Jyaada Naatak Math kar Saale, mere paas bhi hai, "sad story of past" share karne ke liye... but mera past toh past mein hai.. Present mein main bahut khush hu."

He laughed. And he paid the bill, while i acted as if i am looking for my wallet (ishhhh.... not serious). We moved out and he maintained a clear distance between us. I told him "Saale galle Mil… " looking at the big question mark in his face I said " Shabana Azmi ne kya kahaa bhool gaya kya? " - "Choone se yeh nahi failtha, is tarah sirf pyaar failtha hai. Hai Na? "

I bid him good bye, sat in the train, and took a deep breath. Huff! "It wasn't easy. Not easy at all" I said to myself… the next thing I did was called him up and sought his permission to share our tête-à-tête for I believe sharing is caring. He said yes, so here it is.

P.S. I am not a counsellor. He needs professional counselling. and for phukatt. If any one knows anyone. Please contact me at +91 9833100340 or

P.P.S. i had given a wrong advice that "it is okay to have sex with an HIV positive person when you are also HIV positive. I almost have forgotten the molecular biology of my MSC class. There are different strains of HIV and one SHOULD ABSTAIN from sex. I was corrected by Baishakh Mishra and Seema Muralidhara. Thank you so much. :)


Shamrez Zack said...


Loved the way you radiated positivity in him...

Highlighs have to be..

"what a tragedy it would be if you wasted time dreaming about a death due to HIV and you die because of a car accident or swine flu"

"Making love is no sin. Making love without condom is Sin. lastic usage is a sin. But using plastic or latex condoms is not. Gods never had condoms then, else they wouldn't have called it a sin"

"Jyaada Naatak Math kar Saale, mere paas bhi hai, "sad story of past" share karne ke liye... but mera past toh past mein hai.. Present mein main bahut khush hu."

Keep up the goodwork..

Nadhiya said...

hey i ve said before n saying it again ..

i jus love the way u say Hai na ...

so damn cute ... hai na?

n yeah i m so happy for u tat u ve said this -

"but mera past toh past mein hai.. Present mein main bahut khush hu." Muahhhhh

will pray tat ur frnd has al the courage in this world ... to fight the virus

but u my friend .. u re d best ..
love u loads

Sonia said...

I can understand how difficult it must have been ...but you handled it very well - as usual! ;-)& for your online friend - just tell him to be around you !

adee said...

d most difficult job in d world is to b a caregiver while holding one's own hurts within
u do dat frnd
and u dat again n again
n dat is why i say u r amngst d best of d men

chal aa
ab aankhen geeli mat kar

(platonic waala)

saala har baar kuch likhta hai aur rulata hai


Chetan said...

I can't say much about the post.. how well u wrote it etc.

But great work dude. Hats off! You have the ability to cheer people up. As i said, tears would have rolled down from my eyes if i was in the same situation, already!

You da man!

*Aham* said...

@shamrez thanks mate. Love god for the pain, for if it not be, there will be no reason to find smiles.

@nadhi thank you darling

@sonia i want him to be independent. its just a silly virus. he can tackle that with or without me. :)

@adee *hugs* but yeh platonic kis mooli ki khet hai???

@chetan aiyyo.. i cry to KJo movies like mad. i am also very senti. AA Gale Lag Jaa.. mere bhai.

Baishakh Mishra said...

U gave him a wrong advice "Only to have sex with HIV+". The kind HIV virus and symptom can be diff from person to person. So when 2 HIV person have sex without protection, each person can absorb different viruses. Which will be much more lethal. So he has to use condom all the time. And he always have to be truthful to his partner(Weather they have HIV or not), about his HIV conditions.

This is great that you made him feel comfortable. But no kidding it is still a deadly disease.

*Aham* said...

Thnkx baishak, thats exactly the power of sharing. You get light on your mistakes, and people to show you the rite path. Thank you, i stand corrected. And the person in question has also read it. :-) thank u .

Vishal said...

Hey Harish,

you surely are humanity positive :) glad you are my friend

Anonymous said...

Nice Post

Anonymous said...

I don't know form where to begin...
Am happy that you were there to make him feel least for a while...

And am touched by the part of death. You are right, who knows when death's gonna come... so why to worry and whine abt something that is not in our control...

But few things i would like to mention here: HIV virus do not show any kind of symptoms as fever or weight loss or something like tht... these symptoms could be of other diseases. HIV silently destroys our immunity increasing chances for other opportunistic diseases. And if we take proper care, these opportunistic diseases might not even get chance for years and years....
But if he thinks he should recheck, i guess he should. Who knows, the machinery are are not 100% correct every time (though slim chance i know :( )

About free counseling: Voluntary Counseling and Testing Centers (VCT Centers) might give free counseling... Likewise various organizations working for people living with HIV also offers counseling and other support. (I don't know about India, but here in Nepal, such organizations are in large numbers)

I hope your friend learns to live with the reality and each day live life at its fullest... :)

prathamesh said...

good words flow out very easily from you...thats a pretty good thing for the rest who surround you!
N the anonymous friend of ours is really he got you at a tweets distance...let's help him to be more lucky by being with him forever...
...tell him that we too are with him!
And all good wishes for you too.

*Aham* said...

@vishal :) hugs

@newsblog thank you.

@bloggingknight :) this was very informative and will be very helpful.

@prathamesh thank u buddy.

Srushti Rao said...

Love the way you write. I do pray that your frnd gets the strength to fight his battle with the virus.

It is so easy to talk to u as u make things so comfortable and easy for people because of your easy going nature, charisma and the touch of humour.

Love you and loads of hugs

rahul said...

loved the way you mollified, cajoled and made him laugh..this is what friends are all's very easy to praise what you did than actually befriend an HIV positive person,I have never and I don't know how will I react.

kudos to you're a rockstar!!

*Aham* said...


ditto U are Wohkay!


thanks mate:)

Piyush Gupta said...


Mast post ek dum! I means thats wht friends do.

PS: Tell him to watch Dasvidaniya ya fir Bucket List :) kiddin

Anonymous said...

What I know of him is NOTHING..

But What I know of you is how well you learn to deal with situations.

Need not necessarily be about understanding situations perfectly, because the endeavour is not to sit in the victim's resting ground and feel what he feels, but to make the victim realise that he is a VICTIM ONLY IFF he chooses to be one!

Philosophical talks are easy when they need not be incorporated for your own reference , but trust me its the toughest whilst that guy feels different and finds it hard to assimilate as it turns out to be a life changing diagnosis..

Life is made of the "spider web pattern." INTRICATELY WOVEN, only thin lines that seperate you from the good, bad and the ugly. The more you think your sorted your woe's, the more the woven web plummets you towards your death.

Kudos for tackling the situation well, even if not perfectly well.

So what if you didnt realise the fact that an HIV positive person can have a different viral load as compared to another HIV positive person? What you efforts were were totally constructive and deserve accolades of their own.

However, these are aspects that most of us remain uneducated about to date.

While HIV positive people seem safer to have sex with other Hiv positive people, the actuality is the difference in viral loads in the persons body MEANS that the NOVELTY OF BAREBACKING iS NOW LOST !

It is therefore necessary to identify that one person who you could be with , share monogamy with and thereby have unruly sex with .

While for this guy, the advice could only be about HAVING PROTECTED SEX HENCEFORTH ( unless he and his partner both are willing partners and do not wish to do so).

AhamJi, Jiyo mere laal ! Maturity amongst men at your age comes hard but you have certainly amassed that sense of maturity at this young age and how !( BTW, I am younger than you heheeh!)

Nishant Philip said...

Bringing smiles or laughter into a very painful situation...thats really amazing...

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