Drama unfolded at a village in India after a bride and her family called off a wedding hours before the occasion when they found out that the groom hid the fact that he was HIV positive.
Friends and relatives of the groom had announced the wedding to the villagers by erecting banners. An individual on seeing the announcement and who knew the groom’s HIV status called the district revenue officer and collector informing them that the groom was HIV positive.
The collector reported that the caller informed him of the groom’s HIV status a day before the wedding. He then contacted the director of medical services to authenticate the information instructing the revenue officials to find the bride’s family in order to inform them of what was going on.
Groom was on HIV Treatment for more Than 2 Years
After validation of the records by the officials and the Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre in the Government hospital, it was found that the groom had been under HIV treatment since mid-2014. The groom’s medical records were collected and the officials contacted him explaining the issue. He agreed to meet up with them in an hour only for him not to show up.
Meanwhile, the officials had been able to trace the bride’s sister’s contact and gave her the news. She, however, did not believe them since the groom had already warned the family that his rival party workers would spread lies about him. The news was therefore dismissed as one of those lies. The officials had no choice but to rush to the venue and give the news in person while presenting the groom’s hospital records to substantiate what they were saying.
A medical officer accompanied by other individuals broke the news to the bride and her family. The bride called off the wedding with her family thanking the officials for saving their girl. The officials also expressed happiness in being able to collect the medical records as well as trace the bride’s family all in 7 hours.
Bride Gets Married Immediately to Another Man
However, the girl’s family was scared for their lives and that of their girl and so sought the protection of the police as they returned home. Interestingly, it was reported that the girl got married on the same day to a man that she was believed to be related to and in their native village.
This story brings to light a few issues that people living with HIV face.
Firstly, could it be that the stigmatization and prejudice facing people living with HIV forced the man to lie about his HIV status? Second, is there a possibility that people living with HIV can find spouses and lead a normal marriage life?
Thirdly, how important is HIV testing for partners even as people continue to date and get married? Fourthly but finally, how effective are the messages sent about living with HIV and the treatments available?
We feel that this story points out to the importance of HIV testing between partners before marriage. After knowing each other’s status, acceptance comes in. HIV is not the end of life – with tools like HIV PEP to prevent infection in the case of suspected exposure as well as PrEP for someone going to knowingly engage in high-risk sexual activities. But ignorance and dishonesty can cost you not only yours but also your partner’s life – go for STD testing at Shim Clinic soon