In 1989, Ashok Pillai, a radio operator in the Navy, tested positive for HIV. Thirteen years later, he is among the few courageous men and women who have come 'open', in order to extend support to those living with HIV and to spread awareness about the virus. It is a difficult battle, and an enormously important one. In 'Positive Lives', journalist Kalpana Jain describes Ashok's extraordinary journey - from a victim to a prominent advocate of positive people's rights. Into this narrative she weaves stories from her travels to the AIDS hot spots in urban and rural Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Manipur and Bihar. In the hinterland she finds grandmothers looking after orphan children whose parents have succumbed to the disease; AIDS widows who have come together to provide each other support; and young men and women who are ready to marry positive persons.