n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - Reflections on a decade of HIV in my life : reflections

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1608-9693
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6751



The red HIV ribbon is an almost universal icon for the HIV/AIDS cause. I see the HIV ribbon in four different ways as I reflect on the different periods of work in my medical career thus far. Firstly, I see the red ribbon upside down, just like my head was firmly ostriched in the ground soon after qualifying in the Western Cape. There was one ward right at the top, out of the way of a medical intern's rounds, where all patients went to die and at least I didn't need to worry about a 'resus' in ward. But, towards the end of 2003, my interest was piqued when a few of the respected medical officers were heading towards HIV care. That was forgotten though when I started private general practitioner work with not a single HIV-positive patient, until one routine insurance test came back positive - one devastated patient!

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