Meet the Coimbatore doctor, who has waged a life-long war against HIV

Mahadevan decided to dedicate his entire life to treat patients with HIV after his encounter with his first patient

A Tamil Nadu doctor has dedicated his entire life treating HIV patient. What makes his contribution special is that he is treating thousands of patients each year and virtually charges nothing. Dr K Mahadevan who has a clinic in Coimbatore, has a box in his clinic. He leaves it to the wish of his patients whther they want to pay or not.

Speaking with The News Minute, Mahadevan said he does not asks his patients to pay any fees at all: “If at all they want to give, let them give whatever they want”.

A portion of the money received in box is used in paying his rent, running home and paying his receptionist, the rest goes to causes like “Sneha for Positive Faces” of Nirmala College, an initiative for HIV-positive people, The News Minute reported.

Madhavan started his clinic in 1994 when he was a Professor at the Government Medical College, Coimbatore in the Department of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. At that time, he used to charge Rs 20 per patient. Then, he came across an HIV patient that made him aware of the plight of people suffering with this disease.

From that day he decided to treat HIV patients free of cost. Later it dawned upon him why “it should be free for HIV-positive people alone. All people are suffering – whether it is those with common cold or leprosy or HIV. So, we thought we need not ask for any fees from the suffering people who come to the clinic,” he said.

Mahadevan decided to dedicate his entire life to treat patients with HIV after  his encounter with his first patient, an Assistant Director in the Tamil film industry, who  committed suicide  just a day after meeting him.

“He was looking good; there was no trace of opportunistic infection, no other problem with him. Just because he was found to be HIV-positive, he committed suicide,” narrates Dr Mahadevan.

Kumar, one of the patients who have known Mahadevan for 15 years, says not only he treats people free of cost but also help people who are in need.

Meenakshi, President of the HIV Ullor Nala Sangam, an organisation working for the welfare of HIV-positive persons, dubs Dr Mahadevan’s arrival to Coimbatore as a highly fortunate occurence. “He was  one of the first people to come forward to treat persons with HIV. Today, if there are many persons with HIV who are living happy and healthy lives, it’s only thanks to him,” he said.