Title/Description   Author

From Doctor to Guinea-pig by Angelique D.

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The main character, Alex, is born on a Greek island and travels with his family to Zaire where he grows up and studies to be a doctor.

He meets me, his wife at the university in Kinshasa while I am studying medicine and we have two children. Due to his lack of experience he has to accept to work in a bush hospital for a year where he gains an enormous amount of experience. We then move back to the capital, Kinshasa, where he opens his own clinic, laboratory and does philanthropical work. However the long hours and my suspicion of an extra-marital affair are to the detriment of our family life and we get divorced, I get remarried and we remain close friends.
He remarries and later discovers that both he and his wife are HIV positive, as this is in 1983 he can't reveal it, especially to me as I am petrified of HIV and AIDS. He accompanies his wife to Belgium where she dies but hides the fact that she had AIDS from me.
Later on he contracts AIDS and is hospitalised in Belgium. He sends me a letter revealing his sickness and I travel to Belgium for ten days where we recount our lives, our misunderstandings and he shows his ability to withstand the drama that he is living, being a doctor he understands each stage of his sickness.

At this stage he is close to death but makes a recovery which I attribute to prayer and he to the advances in medicine as he has given his doctors permission to test whatever medication is available on him.

We are continually in contact and I visit him in Belgium and Greece as do his multitudes of friends who, coming to console him, find that he consoles them.
There is obviously no happy ending as he finally succumbs to AIDS in 1992 but I
console myself in the knowledge that perhaps by allowing his doctors to test multitudes of medicines on him he has enabled many AIDS sufferers, to extend their lives.

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Angelique D.


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From Doctor to Guinea-pig

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