In this episode of Chigurida Badaku, Aruna talks about her experience of working with People Living with HIV (PLHIV) at care and support centres.
Aruna is a trained nurse who has worked at the Mahaveer Jain Hospital previously. Doubts and fear had plagued her mind when she first began working with PLHIV but later, a discussion with one of the doctors around changed her perspective. She started working at the Asha Kirana Care and Support Centre and got involved in many cases where the patients were very sick. Centres like these allow sick patients to stay on for 15 days, allowing for a few more days of stay if the situation is severe.
While speaking about her work, Aruna recalls the case of a lady who had two children and who had had an extra-marital relationship with a young neighbour. When her husband had come to know about it, she had been too ashamed to face him and had chosen to leave her home. She had somehow found her way to the Mumbai red light area where she was mistreated and abused by many men. As a result, she had fallen sick and had been forced to return to Bangalore in a serious condition. She had stayed and recovered at the Asha Kirana Care and Support Center. She had wished to meet her children and her husband one last time, aware of her HIV positive status and possibly limited lifespan. With the help of the centre, she had been able to reunite with her family. Her husband had been single at the time and had accepted her back into his life. But this woman had not shared her HIV status with him and as a result, had passed on the infection to him as well. Within six months of having met again, her husband had died. Three years later, she had died, too. Their children were taken in by the grandparents.
Though the centre is no more, many patients remain in touch with Aruna and regularly share news about their well-being with her. She feels happy to have worked with the PLHIV communities and wishes that she can continue to do so in the future as well.