HIV infected mother wins son’s custodyNeha Khanna

A young 25-year-old HIV infected mother has won a custody case against her in-laws, who abandoned her and kept her son away.

Neha Khanna, for

Her son was a year old when she realized her husband had AIDS. His doctors said he would live long, but in the next two months she watched him die.

She then discovered that she was HIV positive.

Then days after her husband was cremated, her in-laws asked her to leave the house and said they’d keep her son.

Alone, she knew she didn’t have any chance of holding onto her baby. So she returned to her parents home in Delhi, convinced her family to help her pay for a lawyer and went to court to win back her son.

Next week she will be accompanied by policemen, as she goes to collect him.

After this a new battle will begin for on how to survive the stigma and make a living in a society that has not shown her any kindness.

Activists said that ensuring the safety of HIV positive women, is a problem that Delhi has failed to address.

Laya Medhini, Director, HIV/AIDS unit, Human Rights Law Network said, ”These are women who have no monetary support, no physical support in terms of space. Where will she go? We don’t have enough short-stay homes, where when a woman is in distress she can go and stay. Whatever kind of help it might be, the minute someone finds out she’s HIV positive chances are she’ll not be able to access that service.”

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