KUALA LUMPUR: For Mohsin (not his real name), contracting AIDS was literally a death sentence.

He had everything going for him: rich, handsome and with a lovely family, he had the world at his feet.

But one fateful fortnight in Bangkok a few years ago changed all that.

On a trip with a group of friends, he had unprotected sex and contracted the deadly illness.

His condition came to light when he applied for a job in Dubai four years ago and was asked to go for a medical check-up.

But Mohsin didn’t get help.

Worst, he kept it a secret from his wife, and continued having unprotected sex with her.

It was only years later that he went to a doctor regarding the problem. Even then, he was in denial and kept insisting the results were wrong.

When the doctor asked why he had not sought help sooner, Mohsin said it was because he didn’t feel ill. “Look at me. I’m okay. I’m not thin,” he said.

But his bravado didn’t last long and he later admitted that it was fear that kept him away — the fear of hospitals, doctors and social stigma.

Sadly, this fear of doctors kept him from getting the help his body needed — help in the form of anti-retro viral drugs which would have saved his life.

He eventually died of a lung infection. His widow is now HIV-positive, too

NST Online » 2008/11/10

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