n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - Reflections on HIV care and ART - a view from Pietermaritzburg : reflections

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



I held her hand; her wasted arm revealing the anatomy of every bone and muscle. Her eyes were closed, weighed down by the burden of disease. She lay upon the bed in my consulting room and there, with no fanfare, she breathed her last breath, passing effortlessly from life into death. Ironically, it was 1 December 2000, World AIDS Day. The patient was a nursing sister and her decline in the face of no antiretroviral therapy (ART) had been harrowing. At times like these, the futility of working in an HIV clinic was overwhelming, and I fought tears as I turned with a heavy heart to deal with the devastated family as best I could.

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