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Name: Hasina Banu Birth Date: Unknown Title: A Foolish Girl In a Paper Bag I   heard   the   story   of A   Paper   Bag   Princess,   from   a   caregiver.   It   was   the   same   story   of   my   life,   only   difference   was the   princess   of   the   story   was   so   strong   and   empowered   that   she   had   the   guts   to   reject   the   prince   and   started   her life   afresh.   But   here   I   the   foolish   girl   was    abandoned   by   my   prince   after   he   gifted   me   this   incurable   disease.   The person   with   whom   I   left   my   home,   parents   and   leaving   behind   a   very   comfortable   life   turned   out   to   be   an   imposter, I   trusted   him   blindly   when   he   promised   to   marry   me   but   instead   he   used   to   bring   his   friends   along   and   forced   me to   serve   alcohol   and   to   dance   in   front   of   them.   I   had   to   please   those   men   almost   every   night.   I   felt   so   naked   even with   clothes   on!   One   day   I   felt   sick   and   no   one   was   around   so   I   cried   out   for   help   and   fortunately   a   police   car   was passing,   they   rescued   me   and   sent   me   to   a   hospital   and   there   I   was   diagnosed.   I   did   not   have   any   idea   what   was the   meaning   of   HIV+   but   this   much   I   knew   that   I   am   going   to   die   soon.   I   pray   to   God   to   grant   me   enough   time   and strength so that I can unmask that man before I die. Kolkata, India           ID: ST-IND-HA-0008
Name: Parvati Khan Birth Date: Unknown Title: Betrayal I   was   abused   by   my   stepfather   when   I   was   a   teenager.   When   I   got   married,   once   I   felt   sick   and   had   to   do   some blood   tests.   That   was   the   time   when   I   was   diagnosed   as   HIV.   My   husband   and   in-laws   abandoned   me   so   did   my parents.   I   became   homeless   and   made   the   local   railway   station   my   home.   After   a   couple   of   days   the   police arrested   me   and   put   me   in   a   women’s   shelter   home   where   I   am   receiving   treatments   and   attending   the   tailoring classes.   I   would   like   to   make   an   appeal   to   the   mothers,   please   do   not   abandon   your   child   in   case   she   has   to   go through my kind of situation. Was it my fault? Kolkata, India          ID: ST-IND-PA-0009
Name: Baby Sen        Birth Date: 1992 Title: For a Bottle of Milk     Diagnosis: age 16 When   I   became   a   mother   at   the   age   of   16,   I   realized   there   was   no   food   for   the   child.   My   husband’s   factory   was closed   and   we   had   no   money   left.   Our   dependent   in-laws   and   the Two   of   us   survived   on   charity   food   three   times   a week.   But   the   baby   had   to   starve   most   of   the   time   as   I   did   not   have   any   breast   milk   to   feed   him.   Our   neighbor used   to   work   in   a   city,   she   convinced   my   husband   to   allow   me   to   go   with   her   and   she   would   fix   a   job   for   me.   Every month   I   would   send   the   money   and   after   a   year   I   would   come   back.   Since   there   was   no   other   option   so   I   went with   her   and   she   took   me   to   a   big   city   and   sold   me   to   a   brothel   owner.   When   I   realized   it   was   too   late.   I   tried   to resist   in   vain.   There   I   had   to   entertain   3   to   4   men   every   night   and   that   was   how   I   got   infected   with   this   disease. Once   there   was   a   police   raid   and   they   sent   me   to   Kolkata   because   I   am   a   Bengali.   I   do   not   know   whether   I   will   be able to see my child at all before I die. Kolkata, India            ID: ST-IND-BA-0010
Name: Asha        Birth Date: 1994 Title: Greedy Tongue    Diagnosis: age 15 I   was   very   greedy   from   my   childhood   days.   I   always   envied   my   friends   who   were   rich.   I   liked   to   have   good   clothes, cell   phone,   rich   boyfriend   with   a   car,   etc.   Everyone   cautioned   me   about   my   greediness   but   I   did   not   listen   to anybody.   On   the   contrary,   I   was   looking   for   an   opportunity   to   run   away   from   home   to   a   big   city   and   become   a movie   star.   When   I   was   in   grade   9,   I   saw   an   advertisement   in   a   newspaper   for   an   audition.   I   had   stolen   money from   my   dad’s   wallet   and   a   gold   chain   of   my   mom’s   and   took   the   first   train   to   that   city.   I   met   a   lady   on   the   train   and became   friends:   she   shared   her   food   with   me.   When   I   woke   up   I   saw   myself   in   a   dimly   lit   room,   there   were   some men   with   cameras   and   women   also.   My   clothes   were   torn   and   I   felt   terrible   pain   in   my   abdomen.   I   did   not   know   for how   long   I   was   with   those   men   as   I   had   no   clue   where   I   was.   When   I   became   very   weak   and   felt   dizzy   all   the   time they   brought   a   doctor   who   advised   them   to   transfer   me   to   a   hospital.   There   I   was   told   that   I   was   pregnant   as   well as   HIV+.   Since   I   had   no   place   to   go   they   sent   me   to   a   shelter   home   where   I   have   been   staying   now.   I   tried   to commit suicide by consuming rat poison. I survived but lost my child. Kolkata, India ID: ST-IND-AS-0011
Name: Champa       Birth Date: 1989 Title: Why Me?   Diagnosed: age 15 When   my   father   left   my   mother,   she   was   30   years   old   with   4   kids.   Being   the   eldest   one,   I   understood   how   difficult it   was   to   arrange   food,   clothing   and   school   fees   for   all   of   us   I   had   to   drop   out   from   school   and   started   working   as   a maid   to   an   elderly   lady   in   a   nearby   house. They   used   to   have   a   lot   of   guests.   Most   to   them   were   good   barring   one uncle   who   used   to   give   me   chocolates   but   I   did   not   like   his   eyes.   Once   all   the   family   members   went   to   a   wedding and   no   one   was   there   except   the   old   grandma   and   I   when   that   uncle   dropped   by.   That   night   he   abused   me   more than   once   and   next   month   I   missed   my   period.   No   one   believed   me,   they   all   blamed   me   and   my   mother   was helpless.   She   went   to   a   social   worker   in   our   area   and   that   lady   arranged   for   a   shelter   home   for   me.   I   was   only   15 years   old   any   my   body   was   not   ready   for   a   baby   and   I   had   a   miscarriage.   I   bled   like   anything   when   the   doctors advised   for   a   blood   transfusion.   One   of   the   bottles   was   contaminated   with   HIV   and   that   was   how   I   got   it.   Now   I   am 20   years   old   and   I   am   not   scared   of   dying   because   I   think   I   died   twice   before,   once   when   I   was   abused   and   then when I was diagnosed. But at times I feel lonely, alone and away from my mother and my family. What was my fault? Kolkata, India              ID: ST-IND-CH-0012  
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