Families here are now insisting on HIV tests ahead of marriages.
Pathology labs in the city have registered an increase in the number of HIV tests, particularly during the marriage season.
Rajesh Bose (name changed) got an HIV test done last year.
"I was in love with her. But her parents thought I was a flirt," said Bose. "But when I produced the (HIV test) report, they agreed to our marriage".
Not only men but prospective brides too are going in for HIV tests to prove they are not affected with AIDS.
"When my marriage was fixed, my in-laws were hesitant as I stayed in hostels during my school and college days. To remove any suspicion I voluntary got the HIV test done and showed the report," said a woman who got married in January.
These are not isolated cases in Ranchi.
Getting an HIV test done is simple and not too costly. The rate varies between Rs.250 and Rs.500.
"In recent times we have witnessed an increase in the number of HIV tests. We have registered more than 25 percent growth in the number of HIV tests," said Rakesh Sharan of J. Sharan Pathological Laboratories.
"Normally we do not ask the young people why they are getting the test done and they too do not wish to divulge the reason," he added.
Said Suman Dubey of Health Screen: "In rare instances some people tell us that they are getting the test done as a pre-marriage exercise. This shows that the youths are becoming conscious about their life partners."
There are also cases of young people wanting to get their report changed.
"One girl wanted her report changed. She asked for a negative report despite the fact that she had HIV," said a doctor.
(Source: IANS News)