The story of an ordinary girl whose life is turned upside down when her boyfriend is diagnosed as HIV positive.
Rhea was a lucky girl. Gorgeous to look at, the vivacious young professional was living the good life – complete with a well-paying and highly fulfilling job as an architect, a cozy little apartment in an up market area of South Delhi and if that wasn’t enough, she also had Avinash, her loving and successful banker boyfriend with looks that could give Bollywood heroes a run for their money. It was safe to say that at 25 she had done very well for herself in life.
When Rhea’s world fell apart
At this point in Rhea’s life, everything looked and sounded picture perfect. But destiny had planned something else for her.
One regular evening when she got back home from a hectic day at work, she found Avinash sitting on the couch; his head slumped low in his hands. Rhea immediately sensed that something was seriously wrong. As she went up to him and ran her fingers through his tousled hair, Avinash looked up at her with bloodshot eyes. Clearly, he had been crying. He handed her a paper, one that looked like a medical report. Her eyes skimmed through the report rapidly until somewhere between the lines she saw two words jumping out at her, HIV POSITIVE. She read and reread it several times, trying to understand and correlate what was happening between her, him, the report, and those damning words – HIV POSITIVE. For several minutes, she just stared at the paper blankly. And then it hit her – this wasn’t a bad dream. This was all horribly, terribly real and it was happening to her.
Rhea flew into a fit of rage. She fought, cried and shouted, threw things around in dismay, and tearfully asked for explanations and answers.
With Rhea so upset, Avinash didn’t know where to begin explaining…
Avinash’s shattering discovery
Finally Rhea stopped crying – partly because she knew she needed to hear what Avinash had to say and partly because she was just exhausted. As she quieted down, Avinash gathered all his courage and broke his silence. He told Rhea that a week ago he had received a call from his closest buddy telling him that his friend’s brother had met with an accident and was admitted to a hospital. Without wasting any time, he went straight to the hospital. The injured brother was in urgent need of blood and Avinash promptly volunteered to donate his own. After being made to sign a consent form, he was taken to the blood donation room. Since all the blood donated was screened routinely for several blood-borne transferable diseases, he was told that he would be contacted later if any abnormality was found.
After helping his friend with the hospital formalities, Avinash returned home and got busy with work and everyday life. He had all but forgotten about the blood transfusion when he got a call from the hospital asking him to visit them immediately. On reaching there he was sent to a counsellor who informed him that his blood sample had been tested thrice for HIV antibody test and each time it had shown a positive status. The counsellor asked him questions regarding his sex life and checked his health status. After spending a long time answering his questions and speaking with him about what this meant, he asked Avinash to bring along his partner to discuss the next course of action.
As he stepped out of the counsellor’s chamber, Avinash’s head started spinning. He had no idea how to break the news to Rhea. For a moment he thought he’d keep it to himself and not let her know about it at all. But then her innocent face flashed in front of his eyes and he was reminded of all the unconditional love, care and support that she has given him in the past six months. NO!!! His conscience screamed at him… she has every right to know about this. After all, she was a part of this. He decided to tell her everything and hoped she would accompany him on his next visit to the counselor. The fact was that as his sexual partner for the last few months, she too needed to be tested for HIV.