Personal Views

“Coming out”—a personal dilemma

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 29 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1679
  1. Sandy Logie,
  2. A W Logie

    Iretired four years ago, aged 53. This was not through ill health or burn out, nor as a protest against the NHS reforms. It was prompted by the 1988 offer of early retirement on full pension to senior consultants, part of a solution to the problem of too many time expired senior registrars in Scotland. My wife and I had worked in the Gambia in west Africa in the late 1960s: this exerted a strong formative influence which made us both wish to return to Third World medicine when domestic commitments permitted. The offer of early retirement was too good to refuse.

    One year later, in Zambia, I sustained my first needle stick injury, and this was closely followed by two further exposures to blood which was HIV positive. Six weeks after this I had a non-specific pyrexial illness which lasted one week. Back in Britain I tested positive for HIV.

    We were numbed by this misfortune, but 10 days later my wife managed a short break from her work as a general practitioner and we went camping in the Lake District. The great beauty of our surroundings and the perfect weather had a wonderfully healing effect, helping us to come to terms with our situation.

    A thorough medical checkup …

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