Dreams needn't die

Seven years ago, he was falling ill frequently and contracted herpes, which spread on his entire body.

Wracked by excruciating pain during his Boards, Vikram Sharma went to AIIMS for a check-up, and came across a poster illustrating different symptoms for HIV.
“Since I went for all kinds of blood tests, I thought it was important to go for this as well. I could also relate to some of the symptoms mentioned in the poster,” Sharma told Metrolife.

He underwent tests for other ailments too at the same time. After three days he went to collect his reports where he met nine others in the room, some who said were working with HIV patients, some others who shared meals with them and some who had
physical relations with an HIV positive individual.

Sharma says, “All of them were tested HIV negative, except me. That time I couldn’t even think coherently. And this whole HIV thing was incomprehensible to me.”
He sat in the hospital for the next seven hours, plotting his suicide and wishing
for death.

“I wanted God have mercy on me and to just take me. I couldn’t drink water and just lay in bed seeing my ambitions, my dreams getting shattered before me. I just did not want to continue living that life,” he says pitiably.

“My utensils and clothes and other paraphernalia were made separate and I rarely spoke up in my defence,” recounts Sharma.

“My brothers divided my property amongst themselves and my mother contracted my herpes twice. I just couldn’t stop blaming myself,”
he added.

Sharma’s mother did inform him of a blood transfusion he had gone through four years back, and the family took that incident as the “possible reason for the
symptoms”.

His last wish was to get married. It came true after nearly five years when he joined Delhi Network for Positive People, where he works as a volunteer. His wife was a widow who had lost her child too and wanted to part ways with her husband’s family and become independent.

“We have been married for three years now and are also planning a baby,” he exclaimed with happiness. “The doctors say that there is very less possibility of the baby contracting the disease. We both take our medicines regularly and I am positive that my baby will test negative,” says the hopeful young man.

He shyly tells his life story to Metrolife and the love and pride for his wife shines through. “She is a very strong woman. She runs her own beauty parlour and earns ten times more than me. I met her and fell in love with the way she thinks. She is older to me and takes care of me in a way I feel at home.”

Sharma is sure that the baby will be HIV negative as both he and his wife are line one patients. Line 1 is also like the last stage and the first stage of the disease. “The medicines we are taking are the best available ones and keep the virus dormant for at least 15 years and a maximum up to 20 years, depending on the biology of the patient. After that the body starts adapting and the medicines stop working,” he informs.
When asked, what the future of his baby would be, Sharma expostulated, “After our death, he could study through the NGO and become something. At least we will matter to someone as parents, and that’s what I want.”

Today, Sharma works as a warden at Lala Ram Sarup Hospital with TB patients who are HIV positive.

The name of the patient has been changed.

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