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"Yes, I have AIDS"

By Gudgudee

FYI: names have been changed for privacy reasons!

6:30 am: *Hello Moto!* Not wanting to get out of my comfy bed, I hit snooze to get a few more precious minutes of sleep before stepping out into the cold Chicago wind. It seemed like a typical morning as I gazed out my window, grey skies, the howling wind, frozen lake, and the typical morning traffic on LSD. Sitting on the futon, sipping my morning coffee, I hear that annoying ringer go off again. Ignoring the call, I sit there just pondering about how fortunate I am to live the life I have; so thankful for my supportive family, loving friends, and ok health. Slowly I walk over to the telephone, oh, hmmm, I wonder what my girl Pinky wants this early in the morning.

So what about Pinky? She?s a beautiful, well educated, respectable wife, daughter, and a good friend. She lives a true inspirational Islamic lifestyle. I have never seen her take off her hijab, nor have I ever really seen her making eye contact with the fellas who gawk at her body. All in all, a virgin- sweet & innocent gal.

She married into a similar type family who?s only son, Ali, was the typical class clown. Like most teenage guys, he fell for a girl, Miriam, very early in his life and had every intention of marriage with her. Miriam too wanted Ali but their naseeb wasn?t meant to last. Miriam passed away before taking wedding vows. Now quick note about Miriam, she had one previous ?fling? with another man and girl (yes a one time ?threesome? event), which Ali was aware of.

So getting back to the chilly winter morning and conversation with Pinky:

Me: Just tell me why are you crying chica?

Pinky: It?s horrible, I can?t even say it. You know how I?ve been battling pneumonia these past few weeks, feeling very sick and rundown, well I went for a check up and? *crying continues*

Me: Are you pregnant? I know Ali and you have been trying! Congrats babe!


Me: What did you say? *thought I mistakenly heard her say something disturbing and then wishing I could take back my previous words*

Pinky: Yes, I have AIDS.

Me: But how? The only man you?ve ever been with is Ali, so how did this happen?

Pinky: Ali tested positive for HIV also, but his immune system has been able to fight off the bugs. We never thought to get tested before and he didn?t know until now. The only person he must have contracted it from was Miriam, and she, only God knows. *crying turns to shrieking wails now*

*chills and tears filled my heart*

Me: I?m coming over right now.

The world seemed to have stopped as I hung up the phone with Pinky that day. As I traveled to her house, everything around me was quiet; the radio was on but I heard nothing, the cars beeped their way through traffic yet I felt as though no one was around. Feelings of guilt, anger, shame, and sorrow hurricaned through my mind. How could God let this happen to such a good person? She never did anything sinful or wrong! For once in my life, I was speechless. I didn?t know what to say to my dear friend.

We talked for hours that day, sobbing and pondering about if and how she should break the news to her family. Should she tell her parents about this horrific roadblock in her life? While sitting next to her, she called her mother for a family meeting. I stuck around to support her while she explained her test results to the parents. Obviously, everyone was shocked and in terrible grief. The yelling, screaming, and crying from both parties didn?t seem to end, but when it did, uncle ji dismissed Pinky as his daughter. He called her unimaginable names, called her a disgrace to the family, and asked her to never contact them again. And then both uncle and aunty left!

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? I was so outraged and astounded at her father?s remarks and her mother?s khamoshi. Apparently they forgot that they had arranged this marriage after ?carefully investigating? the guy and family as most desi families do. Pinky ka kiya kasoor hai? How was it her fault?

So these days she is receiving drugs to ease the pain this disease causes, but the truth of the matter is, she?s dying and can only pray that God forgives her and her husband for their sins.

My friend?s experience has really got me thinking about an important question: In an arranged marriage situation were guy/gal hook up because of some rishta lady, do you bring up past sexual relationships? If yes, then how does one start up a hefty topic with someone they barely even know? If a person has a sexual past and you are seriously considering them for shaddi, would it be so wrong to ask them to get tested beforehand without offending the other?

**** A public safety announcement: Be responsible with your sexual activity. One shot is all it takes to pass on a lifetime of misery. ****

   Comments: 104     Raters: 67     February 6, 2005 at 11:11pm         


The opinions expressed in this journal are of the author and not necessarily of Naseeb.

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  Comments on this journal

reez (December 23, 2005 at 1:00pm)
This has just left me speachless. -:- I figured the parents would be supportive. I guess they don't really know there daughter so well. BTW This is not Pinky's fault she has incured no sin for her infection. God loves to test us and he testd us in the most inhospitable ways. But there is great reward if we show faith and conviction.
QueenRooji (October 8, 2005 at 8:54pm)
That is terrible...

I say get everyone tested. People lie all the time.
PlatoShadow (August 16, 2005 at 5:42pm)
jeeezz this is the kind of sotry med students tell each other when they go out at night to unwind....

its never easy to hear, but you gotta get it off your chests...
morbid one upmanship, each tale sadder than the last, all true, seen from first person perspective.

all you can say is, "man, that sucks"
and the only response is "yeah, it does"
mshariff (April 5, 2005 at 12:37pm)
Ohmigod! That is definitely most horrible! May Allah give your friend and her husband strength to go through it all and have mercy on them. Sometimes, life just is not fair and you question everything!
Altofah (March 8, 2005 at 2:04pm)
Poor pinky :(
Bahry (March 8, 2005 at 1:59pm)
oh no, this is horrible... my prayer goes out to "pinky" may Allah have mercy on her soul in this life and the HereAfter... in the meantime, do make sure you support her. that's all she has at this point. she can only rely on her friends and family to be there for her... help her cherish her days left in this world... best of luck to you hun. AH
umber76 (February 23, 2005 at 8:24pm)
And the spam continues... the duas don't mean a whole lot when they are cut and pasted indiscriminately all over naseeb... as part of a marketing campaign...
umber76 (February 21, 2005 at 5:03am)
whyme..well..keep the sex tree in mind when, insha-allah, you counsel your own kids as to why (besides to moral/religious reasons) they should not have sex outside of marriage.. as for the other suggestion...it sounds really uncomfortable..and i think i'll stick to abstinence... besides..i've seen an awful lot of people fall out of trees and break various bones..so it could be quite dangerous in its own right! ;-)
whyme (February 21, 2005 at 12:46am)
Umber76: Masha'Allah. You are right on about sex education, and our tendencies to blame victims. We need to be brave. I really like your "sex tree" diagram - it sounds like an effective teaching tool. And I guess having sex with trees is probably safer, anyway :).
umber76 (February 19, 2005 at 5:48pm)
When I talk to teenagers about sex (as I do with every teenage patient I see, situation permitting), I always draw the diagram of "who did you sleep with last night"..to explain the dangers of unprotected sex...that even if they've had just one partner.. and even if their partner has only had just two or three total partners...but you don't know how many people those partners slept with..you draw a ever-increasing branching tree of sexual contacts and it is pretty darn impressive... What really is awful is when a married person is fooling around during the marriage...that is the worst.
umber76 (February 19, 2005 at 5:44pm)
This also underscores the need for good sex education among Muslims (everyone really). Many suffer from the false notion that talking about sex makes people more likely to have it. Studies show otherwise. The prophet himself (pbuh) openly spoke about sex for educational purposes (which is how we know that foreplay is encouraged or that certain forms of sex are not allowed). Too often it is the girls and guys from the most conservative families that end up in the most screwed up situations when it comes to relationships and physical intimacy. Once they start to break the rigid rules of conduct they don't have any sort of framework or perspective. Though, of course, our actions should, ideally, be motivated by spiritual purity..sometimes it helps to know about more earthly consequences to our actions (and I don't mean parental anger).
umber76 (February 19, 2005 at 5:35pm)
I am apalled and I am ashamed on behalf of "Pinky"'s parents.. HOW DARE THEY?!?! This attitude of blaming the victim out of a misplaced desire to "protect honor" manifests in so many ways: domestic violence, divorce, rape, murder, etc.
umber76 (February 19, 2005 at 5:33pm)
I agree..we should all undergo testing before marriage.. in my case.. being in healthcare and having exposure to blood products.. I'd use that as a socially acceptible reason (which would work if my potential hubby was also in the healthcare profession)...but even otherwise.. I would insist on it...for both of us...
serendipity1 (February 19, 2005 at 1:14am)
Your friend is in my prayers.
bilal187 (February 18, 2005 at 9:29pm)
Gr8 Journal btw.
bilal187 (February 18, 2005 at 9:29pm)
Gudgudee that title had me worried!!!
Samurai (February 18, 2005 at 10:56am)
well written. overtly powerful... to much power... caters to the fear most carry inside. this aint the 50's and 60's when you could get away with making mistakes.
chitwnguy (February 18, 2005 at 10:18am)
wow! very powerful JE..it is so sad to see people being so ignorant with their comments and wasting no time in bashing pakis for no reason what so ever. Don't loose the point of this JE, just pray for the couple, especially pinky who needs our prayers the most. Hope her family come to senses soon!.. I think it is a very good idea to ask someone with a sexual history to be tested for before getting intimate..
zeenz (February 18, 2005 at 10:12am)
i would have never even thought of asking my husband to take an hiv test before marriage, i am so sorry to hear about your friend and this is such a sad story i hope she finds peace somehow
whyme (February 18, 2005 at 10:10am)
I'm so sorry for your friend. No one should ever have to bear her burden. I'm so angry with how our community treats - ostracizes - patients with serious illnesses. At a time when someone needs love and support more than ever, thier "loved ones" turn away in shame and disgust. How can any human be so cold? And it's not just HIV. Patients with mental illness, for example, are treated the same way.

All you assholes who are directing invective and blame on "pakis",or Miriam, or wherever are completely missing the point. HIV is the most serious global public health problem we encounter. And as backward as the world at large is with dealing with it, I swear the Islamic community's attitude is equivalent to a primate's. We are totally silent. Period. We act as if we are immune to it, because it is a disease of the "dirty kuffar," and we are above it because our faith is so pure. Wake the fcuk up: we are the worst off because we are arrogant. And we are the most at risk. When we are faced with the problem, like here, what are we doing? We are desprately - angrily - searching for blame, pointing out faults, trying to distance ourselves from these people, as if they are filthy beasts. Realize this: any one of us could very easily be any one of these people.

Please tell you friend that we all love her for her courage, for seeking help, and - I am a physician practicing in Chicago with experience treating HIV patients - please let me know if I can help in any way. Be strong, and may Allah bless you and Pinky.